Team Speed at Long Beach Grand Prix: 2009 Acura ARX-02a LMP is a Real Winner

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2009 Acura ARX-02a Le Mans Prototype

Piloted by IndyCar legends Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, Acura LMP snagged eight wins in its only season, including Long Beach.

Every year around tax time, the streets of Long Beach, California are transformed into a street circuit nicknamed “The Monaco of American Racing,” the Long Beach Grand Prix. Since 1975, open-wheel cars have mixed up with celebrities, sun, surf, and sand for one amazing weekend. Thus, it only makes sense for us at Team Speed to check out the happenings this past weekend.

Thus, we found ourselves wondering through an amazing selection of vehicles who’ve made Long Beach their home for a brief moment, such as this 2009 Acura ARX-02a LMP.

2009 Acura ARX-02a Le Mans Prototype

For one season, two teams used the Acura ARX-02a take home a total of eight wins, piloted by legends like Scott Dixon, David Brabham, and Dario Franchitti. The example here, campaigned by DeFerran Motorsports, took the pole in its debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring, and won the 2009 American Le Mans Series event at Long Beach in the LMP1 class.

2009 Acura ARX-02a Le Mans Prototype

The ARX-02a helped Acura win the manufacturer’s championship at the end of the 2009 ALMS season, while giving Patron Highcroft Racing the driver’s championship ahead of the DeFerran. This particular DeFerran ARX-02a wears the white-and-silver livery made in tribute to motorsport legend Jim Hall, whose wild creations for Chaparral Cars helped define Can-Am.

And just like the innovations Hall introduced to racing via Can-Am, Acura gave its ARX-02a a few innovations of its own, as it’s the first to wear the same size tires and wheels up front as well as out back, and is the first to mount its rear spoiler upon a ‘swan neck’ mount, allowing for better airflow over the wing for increased downforce.

2009 Acura ARX-02a Le Mans Prototype

The heart of the ARX-02a isn’t all that big, but it was more than enough to get those wins: a 4.0-liter LM-AR7 normally aspirated, fuel-injected V8 putting over 620 horses. Combined with the 1,984-pound carbon-fiber monocoque, it’s safe to say this car flew around the corners wherever it went in its hunt for the checkered flag.

2009 Acura ARX-02a Le Mans Prototype

Photos for Team Speed by David Ciminelli

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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