Honda to battle Porsche in ALMS, Grand-Am?

UPDATE #3 has learned that ALMS is expected to wrap up a major deal on Monday with an announcement slated to happen Tuesday. We speculate that it is an announcement that Honda (previously rumored) has entered the series and will compete against Porsche in the LMP2 class. We hope to find out more on Monday.

10/29/05 Hearing again that Honda representatives and Andretti-Green’s John Anderson are talking to both ALMS and Grand-Am. Like Toyota before them, will Honda pay their dues in Grand-Am before being allowed into NASCAR?

10/04/05 Hearing that Andretti Green Racing, a close partner with Honda in the IRL, might field a Honda powered car in the LMP2 class. They have admitted to be looking at it and Michael Andretti has stated that NASCAR is not out of the question for Marco Andretti. It will be interesting to see if Honda moves all of its IRL money to ALMS and NASCAR, leaving the IRL with zero engine manufacturers. Let's not forget Brian Barnhart's statement that the IRL doesn't need engine manufacturers, that given the TV ratings and attendance, they have done little to help his league. We bet that statement went over like a lead sinker in the boardroom of Honda and Toyota. Mark C.

10/04/05 Our sources tell us that on his way to Talladega to take in the Nextel Cup race last Sunday, Robert Clarke and the Honda executives were at Road Atlanta earlier in the weekend for a meeting with ALMS. We are told Robert Clarke was seen at a number of ALMS races this year. We hear Honda will be entering the LMP2 class with a Lola chassis. Penske Racing will field a new 3.4-liter V8 Porsche in the LMP2 class with its own chassis, its debut expected at Laguna Seca in this year's season finale.

If true, Honda's entry will be welcome news for ALMS which has seen its car count suffer terribly since the Grand-Am series was created. Whether Honda use a re-worked version of their old 3.5-liter IRL V8 down to 3.4-liter for this car is not known. The Lola B40/LMP2 (pictured right) is currently engineered to accept a Judd (or "MG") normally aspirated 3.4 liter V8, a AER turbo 2.0 liter I4, and a Nicholson-McLaren normally aspirated 3.4 liter V8

Honda's move to ALMS was rumored on these pages some time ago, but then fell somewhat silent. If this rumor turns out to be true, Honda will be sticking to its word that it must have another manufacturer to compete against or it won't race. This would not bode well for their future in the IRL, which lost both Chevy and Toyota and admits no one else has shown interest. Whether they would come into Champ Car to battle Ford remains to be seen, but our sources tell us a turbo engine is running on the Dyno at HPD and other sources told us months ago it appeared to be the old CART 2.65 liter turbo engine.

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