Ryan Eversley, Peter Kox to compete in new Acura NSX GT3 machines. RealTime Racing has three wins and 13 podiums on Florida street circuit. Acura NSX GT3 to make its first street-course start in PWC competition.
TORRANCE, Calif. – The Acura Pirelli World Challenge program with RealTime Racing enters a new era this weekend as the team rolls out the brand-new Acura NSX GT3 for the 2017 season opener in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The new Acura NSX supercar will make its first full-season appearance in the PWC, running with 14-time PWC champion RealTime Racing, which again partners with Honda Performance Development for the 20-race GT class championship. The series, which features some of the world’s most exotic race cars including McLaren, Mercedes and Aston Martin, kicks off its season on the streets of St. Petersburg with races on March 11 and 12.
“After a successful endurance race debut for the NSX GT3 (at the 24 Hours of Daytona), we now get to tackle another first in Pirelli World Challenge,” said NSX GT3 Project Leader Lee Niffenegger. “A street sprint race is an entirely different racing discipline! While we’ve done extensive testing with the NSX GT3, this will be another new challenge for this program. Our expectations are high, but we must be realistic. However, I’m confident we will maximize our potential.”
The new Acura NSXs will be in the hands of a pair of seasoned drivers for 2017. Ryan Eversley returns to the team for his third season, while Peter Kox joins the lineup after serving as the NSX development driver a year ago. Kox will be running his first full season in a U.S.-based series and is eagerly anticipating the challenge.
“I look very much forward to race again in the US, and of course, with the Acura NSX GT3 car, as I’ve been involved with the program from the beginning,” Kox said. “Obviously I have no experience at St. Pete, but I have tried to prepare as well as possible with video and data. It will be a steep learning curve, but I relish the challenge!”
The 1.8-mile St. Petersburg track is one of the rare circuits that combines narrow city streets requiring precise entries and exits, with a pair of high-speed sections that incorporate one of the runways of Albert Whitted Airport. And while Kox will make his first appearance on the street circuit, his teammate Ryan Eversley has demonstrated that he knows the fast way around it. Eversley earned his first PWC victory and the first for the Acura TLX on the Florida streets in 2015, winning from the pole in his rookie season in the series.
“It’s a new year and we have a new race car! I can’t wait to finally strap into my #43 Acura NSX and return to the scene where I was able to get my first win in PWC-GT,” Eversley said. “Both RealTime and HPD have been working hard through the off-season and Peter and I would love to reward their hard work with some solid results.”
“We are extremely excited about the driver lineup in the RTR NSX GT3s for 2017,” Niffenegger reported. “Ryan returns to RealTime Racing for another year and Peter will join full time after handling the development driver duties for the NSX GT3 in 2016. We have a very strong lineup to challenge the rest of the PWC GT field and to push the NSX GT3 to its limits.”
The Pirelli World Challenge events take place Saturday at 9:35 a.m. ET and Sunday at 3:15 p.m. ET. The tape-delayed race broadcast can be seen March 18th at 2 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network. Fans can follow the action live via streaming video at World-Challenge.com.
The Acura NSX GT3 racecar utilizes the production NSX’s lightweight multi-material body with aluminum-intensive space frame, and is powered by a 3.5-liter, 75-degree, twin-turbocharged DOHC V-6 engine. The engine uses the same design specifications as the production 2017 Acura NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. The engine is paired with a 6-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox, delivering power to the rear wheels. The Acura NSX is produced at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Acura Pirelli World Challenge racing activities at St. Petersburg are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2017 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.