ACURA ARX-05 DPi
all of our partners at the highest level.
The driving is only one element of the
equation. You need to be the complete
package, and we were fortunate to
announce Juan Pablo Montoya and
Dane Cameron as our initial drivers.”
The identity of Acura Team Penske’s
other full-time drivers could be revealed in
October, but speculation says Montoya’s
Penske teammate Helio Castroneves and
Prototype front-runner Ricky Taylor are
poised to complete the full-time roster.
If St. Cyr and Cindric have brought
something to IMSA that it lacked before
the ARX-05 project was launched, it’s
drivers like Montoya who’ll help sell
tickets on name recognition alone.
“Our main goal is to win races. It’s the
car and engine, so it isn’t necessarily about
trying to sign marquee drivers like Juan
and Dane,” St. Cyr concedes. “But since
they bring star power, it’s even better.”
Revealed to the public in mid-August,
the Acura went straight to Road Atlanta
for a first proper test with Montoya behind
the wheel. Knowing the last prototypes he
drove covered both ends of the tech
spectrum – an LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid
and a tubeframe Daytona Prototype – the
notoriously unimpressed Colombian could
have been underwhelmed by the mid-tier,
LMP2-derived ARX-05 DPi.
“Being honest, I’ve driven a lot of these
and some have been fun, some not so
fun. But you can ask anybody at the test,
my smile was the biggest it could be,”
says the two-time Indy 500 winner. “The
his career in
switching to sports
cars in 2009.
Partnered by Eric
Curran, he earned
title with Action
car rewards driving hard and pushing it.
Most cars today, you need to baby them
around at 80 percent because the tires will
go off. This thing…the more you ask of it,
the more it will give you. It’s unbelievable.”
A still-to-be-confirmed trip to compete
at Petit Le Mans in October with a stock
ORECA 07 powered by the WEC-spec
Gibson V8 would allow Acura Team
Penske to drill its IMSA crews before the
ARX-05s head into a 24-hour battle
come January in Daytona. And expect
thousands of testing miles to be covered
leading up to Acura’s DPi debut, too.
“What we have to do now is take it to
a level to get reliability, get drivability,”
Penske confirms. “My goal is to be there
[at the Rolex 24] to run for the win.”
Months away (albeit months that will
pass quickly) from its debut, St. Cyr says
Acura is engaged in something special.
“This is the most exciting time we’ve
seen in American sports car racing in a
decade,” he beams. “This is the place to be.”
(MAIN and ABOVE) The bodywork of the
ARX-05 DPi serves two masters: Primarily, it
has to deliver on downforce and drag numbers,
but it’s also a conduit for Acura’s road-car
thinking, reflecting it in multiple styling cues.