Honda Performance Development (HPD) developed a new, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged Daytona Prototype version of the production J35 engine for 2014, with the Daytona Prototype Honda Riley package making its debut at the Sebring 12 Hours with Starworks Motorsport, but with limited success.
Peter Baron, team owner, says of the Daytona Prototype’s return, "Obviously we are all immensely happy about the return of the #78 Starworks HPD Riley. The project was no small undertaking. We were hoping to make an earlier return, but the amount of engineering and detail that went into the redesign took a bit longer than anticipated. Both HPD and Riley invested a tremendous amount of resources into an initial design that was discussed with the series, but not approved in the end. That cost us a little over a month. But the good news is we have a reliable solution and we are back on track and have a chance to defend our win last year at Road America with Scott!"
In the Rolex GRAND AM series last year, the #8 Starworks Motorsport BMW-Riley of Scott Mayer and Brendon Hartley won the 2013 ‘VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250’ at Road America in nail-biting style, bringing home the Ford Lauderdale team’s sixth straight podium of the season to date.
Peter adds: "I'm thrilled now to be back competing for a win. Obviously we lost a fair amount of development and learning with the car as it was side-lined while our competition was on track, but we are optimistic on the return. Our goal for this outing is to show that we are reliable and competitive, and to build on the results. We aim to show, by season's end, that we are back competing for wins, positioning ourselves well for 2015.
I'm also very excited about the addition of James Hinchcliffe to the program. I first met James back at a Long Beach Formula Atlantic Championship race in 2006 and we got on well. He has a fun personality and nature that should gel nicely with our team. Honda HPD is also equally excited as we are to see one of their IndyCar drivers with the program. He brings excitement every time he gets in the car, as demonstrated in last week’s IndyCar battle from the back to podium finish."
James Hinchcliffe, #27 United Fiber & Data, Andretti Autosport driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2011, comments, "I'm really excited to be at Road America this weekend with Starworks and HPD. I don't have a ton of time in the DP cars, but I know Road America well and I'm sure, with a team like Starworks, they will get me up to speed quick. Already having a relationship with HPD makes this an even cooler proposition and should help make the transition easier. More than anything I'm just happy to be in a car on an off weekend!"
Continental Tire ‘Road Race Showcase’ at Road America, WI, 8 – 10 August 2014 – TV Broadcast: Qualifying: 8/09/2014 at 4:20 pm EDT on IMSA web and app with the Race: 8/10/2014 at 6:30 pm EDT on FOX Sports 1.