America’s love affair with cars, from the romance of Route 66 to the high-stake thrills of the Indie 500, has spawned a multi-million dollar motorsports industry. With a growing fan base estimated at over 75 million, its marketing and advertising potential is not lost on consumer car manufacturers and a trend towards developing in-house motorsports divisions is gaining traction.

In March of 2007, Acura (a division of American Honda Motor Co.) stepped into the motorsports arena with an endurance-racing prototype for the renowned American Le Mans Series. With its new LMP2 sports car, Acura/Honda joins a growing list of leading marques at the ALMS, such as Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Lexus, Mazda and Porsche, all competing to display their manufacturing technology and innovation.

On assignment for Acura Motorsports, photographer Gerd Ludwig was at Florida’s Sebring Racetrack to document a 12-hour simulation race as three teams of drivers, engineers and mechanics pushed Acura’s new prototype machines to their limits in preparation for the legendary American Le Mans Series.