Highcroft Racing and Honda Performance Development (HPD) are testing a brand new race car, the ARX-01e prototype, for American Le Mans Series racing at Sebring this week. The car is still being developed through the aerodynamic and systems testing process, but is looking strong in early testing.

At the latest Sebring test, the new car was fifth fastest, trailing only the factory Audi and Peugeot cars, which have dominated Le Mans Prototype racing in recent years.

HPD is behind the engine in the car, as well: a 3.4-liter, 500-plus-horsepower V-8 built for competition and running on 100-octane E10. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential paddle-shifted gearbox.

The car weighs just 1,984 pounds (class minimum without driver or fuel load), sits 40 inches high, and rides on a double-wishbone pushrod suspension. Big 33/68 front and 37/71 Michelin racing slicks provide the grip. It also looks awesome.

Highcroft Racing Honda HPD ARX-01e ALMS Race Car

The 2011 ALMS season kicks off with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this weekend. Tune into SpeedTV to catch the action.

[Highcroft Racing, TBO.com]