Honda wants to crack the record time posted by Sebastien Loeb at Pikes Peak in 2013, and it’s hoping its HPD ARX-04b LMP2 racer and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson can get the job done. The automaker will run the new prototype racecar at the mountain this year in what it’s calling an “exploratory effort,” to see how it handles the rigors of the hill climb, later using the data to crush Loeb’s record run of 8 minutes and 13 seconds set in his purpose built Peugeot 208.
The ARX-04b, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter Honda V6, will be the first full-carbon monocoque vehicle to ever attempt the climb up Pikes Peak. It will compete in the Unlimited class, which is exclusive to cars which are capable of completing the 12.42 mile mountain run in under 10 minutes.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun driving the Honda ARX-04b up the hill and giving it everything I’ve got,” Wilson said in a statement. “This is my first time competing at Pikes Peak and I’m really looking forward to the experience. I’ve run with Honda at the Indy GP and the ‘500’ this year, and also have run Formula E and at the 12 Hours of Sebring. But this will be every bit as difficult as any of them. I’m looking forward to the challenge and working with everyone at Honda.”
Wilson and his LMP2 car will take on Pikes Peak on June 28. This isn’t the first radical entry from Honda in the time trial and it likely won’t be the last, with the automaker saying the “very open nature,” of Pikes Peaks’ rulebook “continues to be very appealing to Honda and the passions of its associates.”