As reported before, the car marks HPD’s return to the LMP1 class, following its successful outing in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) last year, where it took the LMP2 title. In fact, the new racer is an evolution of last year’s challenger, which now features a new aerodynamic package, revised suspensions and a new restrictor to boost power of its engine (required by the new class).
The first men who got to take the HPD ARX-01e for a ride this weekend were David Brabham and Marino Franchitti, two of the team’s 3-driver squad for next week’s event at Sebring (alongside Simon Pagenaud). The test, conducted at the same track in Sebring, lasted for only 33 laps, but both racers were visibly excited with how the car behaved.
“Today was all about systems checks, making sure nothing was rubbing or leaking and I have to congratulate the guys because we had very little go wrong today and it is a great start for the week coming up,” said Brabham.
“The Highcroft boys have worked very hard to get the car here. Obviously we would have liked to been testing before Christmas but it wasn't to be. Everything has been a bit of a rush but the Highcroft team, as usual, has just done a phenomenal job.”
“The car is very slippery and we have a lot more power so we have a much better straightline speed performance than what we were used to. Last year you would accelerate along the straight and hit a virtual wall, but this year the car seems to be accelerating all the way to the end,” added Franchitti.