Acura has committed to the new hybrid LMDh sportscar rules for 2023, joining Porsche and Audi, and putting it in a position to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The LMDh rules package means America’s top prototype series – the IMSA SportsCar Championship – and the World Endurance Championship will stare the same rules, ensuring teams from each series can enter either championship without changing car.
It brings Le Mans, the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours under a common rules package, opening the door for more competition across the biggest races and series in sportscar racing.
The WEC is bringing in the LMDh rules in 2022, while IMSA follows suit in 2023.
The LMDh cars will be based on upgraded LMP2 chassis, with a standardised hybrid unit. The chassis will come from four pre-chosen manufacturers: Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and ORECA.
Acura released a statement on Tuesday to say it “will continue to compete in the top category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023 under the new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) format.”
The announcement does not mention a Le Mans campaign but shared rules at sportscar’s highest level will provide the opportunity for a factory or customer team to mount one.
Acura’s current ARX-05 DPi model entered IMSA in 2018 as part of an exclusive deal with Team Penske. It won at Mid-Ohio that year, before sweeping the teams’ and drivers’ championships for the next two seasons.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron claimed 2019 honours while Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor won in 2020.
For this season, Penske withdrew from IMSA leaving Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing to take over Acura manufacturer backing.
Acura’s commitment to IMSA coincides with its partner brand Honda’s backing of hybrid regulations in IndyCar from 2023 onwards.