• Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b Hondas qualify second, fourth
• Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp contend for victory until sidelined
A promising start to the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix for Honda Performance Development and Extreme Speed Motorsports ended in disappointment Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, as separate mechanical problems ended the runs of both HPD ARX-03b Hondas prior to the finish of the two-hour, 45-minute contest.
The HPD Hondas were competitive throughout practice and qualifying at the fast Canadian Tire road course, located approximately 60 miles east of Toronto, with the #2 HPD of Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek qualifying fourth in the prototype category, and the #1 entry of Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp starting on the outside of the front row, second, after trading fast times with the eventual pole qualifying OAK Racing entry of Olivier Pla and Gustavo Yacaman.
The #1 Dalziel/Sharp HPD briefly assumed the lead at the start, but soon became embroiled in a battle for second place with the prototype entries from Action Express and Spirit of Daytona Racing, while the OAK prototype pulled away to an eventual 7.9-second victory in the caution-free contest.
But with less than an hour remaining, Dalziel was forced to pit the #1 HPD with a broken exhaust header pipe. While repairable, the limited time remaining in the race meant it would not be possible to regain any additional positions, so the car was retired.
In the #2 HPD, an early spin put the Brown/van Overbeek car a lap down to the leaders, but it quickly resumed without damage. Later in the race, an alternator cable chafed through its insulation, causing a short-circuit and damaging the battery, leading to a long pit stop for repairs. Shortly before the finish, voltage levels aboard the HPD-Honda again dropped, and the car was retired.
The HPD-developed Honda engines used in the TUDOR championship are derived from the Honda “J35” series of production V6 engines and include relevant twin-turbocharger technology, along with the efficiency provided by direct fuel injection. Key production-based components that are utilized include block and heads, crankshaft, direct injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors, fasteners, etc. The engine even utilizes a stock Honda oil filter.