Andretti Autosport team expansion plans are underway. The upcoming 24 Hours of Daytona will feature the debut of an American team in the LMDh class in support of Wayne Taylor Racing. The two stars and realities, who have teamed up to put the Acura ARX-06 LMDh on the line in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, also aim to participate in the FIA WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This was said by Michael Andretti himself, at the Roar Before 24 press conference in preparation for the Daytona race: “The goal of Andretti Global and its partners is to be present in all major motorcycle events including ‘Endurance and IMSA . With the arrival of the new rules, a great opportunity was created and Wayne Taylor’s call completed it all. In the next few years we would like to go to Le Mans and compete in the WEC. We are setting up a satellite station in Europe for that event”.
Taylor himself confirmed the project, eager to fight for overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Thanks to the integration of IMSA and FIA-ACO rules, the passage between the two sides of the Atlantic will be easily possible, in this regard Porsche and Cadillac will be the first car manufacturers to commit to both sides this year. As already happened in the case of the NSX GT3, by committing to the WEC the Acura HPD brand, strictly North American, will have to give way to that of Honda.
However, according to Honda Performance Development president David Salters, the final decision to have the Japanese LMDh race in the Endurance World Championship would rest with parent company Honda. So it will be the top management of the Japanese giant who will decide what will be the most likely fate of the ‘European’ plan. In all likelihood, the placement will also be decided based on the results the Acura ARX-06 LMDh will be able to achieve in IMSA, as well as how the performance between the LMH and LMDh will be balanced in the WEC.
On the other hand, an example already exists: the Acura ARX-01, the first LMP2 built by the American subsidiary HPD. After its debut in the American Le Mans Series in 2007, brought to the track by the Andretti Green Racing team among others, the ARX-01 in 2010 participated in the ELMS and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans managed by Strakka Racing.