Filipe Albuquerque regrets Acura’s decision not to contest Le Mans in 2023

Filipe Albuquerque regrets Acura’s decision not to contest Le Mans in 2023

Filipe Albuquerque does not hide his disappointment at Acura’s decision not to compete in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite everything, the Portuguese driver will be in the French resistance classic in the LMP2 class.

Among the wide range of manufacturers that will compete in the premier class of endurance from 2023, Acura is perhaps the one that presents one more author’s project. Far from the possibilities offered by the convergence between LMH and LMDh prototypes, the subsidiary company of Honda has wanted to focus on the American market and the Acura ARX-06 LMDh will only be present in the IMSA GTP class next year.

There will be two Acura LMDhs present in this premier IMSA category in 2023one in the colors of Meyer Shank Racing and another under the umbrella of Wayne Taylor Racing. A project, the latter, in which Filipe Albuquerque is the pilot of reference with the permission of Ricky Taylor, even if Louis Deletraz or Brendon Hartley will also compete with the formation, however partially.

“Right now, Acura is focused solely on IMSA”

At this point, Albuquerque is one of the authorized voices to express the disappointment that exists for Acura’s decision not to take its ARX-06 LMDh to Le Mans in 2023. The Portuguese rider has assured that it is a great shame that the Honda Performance Development (HPD) project has not chosen to be in La Sarthe with gold wing logo in a race that next year will celebrate its centenary, not its 100th edition.

“At the moment, Acura focuses solely on IMSA. I understand it, but as a driver it hurts to be at Le Mans in 2023 with an LMP2 prototype, knowing that there is a vehicle capable of going for absolute victory and it is simply not there, “said a first. Filipe Albuquerque which in the WEC will compete with the ORECA 07-Gibson of the United Autosports team.

Video of the tests of the Acura ARX-06 LMDh in Road Atlanta. Its sound will not leave you indifferent

understandable pain

“When there are regulations that open the door for you to be able to race at both Daytona and Le Mans and thus maximize the investment of a brand, when it does not happen, it is something that disappoints you. I understand that it is more complicated because Acura is an American brand and Honda needs to figure out what to do. Yes indeed, we are ready and we have the experience to do it» added Albuquerque.

An understandable feeling for Filipe, since he knows that with an LMDh he could fight for absolute victory in La Sarthe: «The main thing is to do Le Mans. It’s the maximum for a driver and we all want to do it every year we compete. I started racing there in the LMP1 class straight away, but in eight years I haven’t been able to go back to the top class. Now there was an opportunity with Acura, but they don’t go. and that kills me more».

Wayne Taylor Racing continues to rack up testing with the Acura ARX-06 LMDh ahead of its homologation.

crash avoided

«I just want to fight again for the overall victory at Le MansBecause I hate having to look in mirrors. It has been fantastic to drive and win in LMP2. It has been by far the most competitive class in recent years with 20 or 25 cars, but still not the pinnacle.” Filipe Albuquerque when arguing this idea about Le Mans and the Acura ARX-06 LMDh.

For now, Acura’s decision not to travel to Le Mans under the Honda logo with its LMDh avoids a clash of dates for Filipe Albuquerque. Although it is clear that it supposes a big disappointment for the luso, Filipe will be able to fulfill his commitment in LMP2 with the United Autosports teama structure that in principle will maintain its commitment to the silver class with two prototypes.

Fountain: autosport

Photos: Acura

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