TORRANCE, Calif. – The Acura NSX GT3 will make its first-ever race appearance on the streets of its hometown this weekend, as the RealTime Racing Acura will compete for the first time at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Located close to the Honda Performance Development (HPD) and American Honda corporate headquarters in Southern California, the GP of Long Beach has been a staple of American racing since the 1970s, when the world’s best drivers competed on the Long Beach streets. This weekend, the new Acura NSX supercar will battle some of the world’s most prestigious brands in a GT shootout with Ferrari, Cadillac, McLaren and Mercedes.
Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge race will be the third of the young season for the RealTime Racing Acura squad, which had a rollercoaster start to the season at St. Petersburg, Florida last month. The team earned two eighth-place finishes during the opening weekend, but also had two cars that failed to complete the race distance.
“It was a bit of a tough World Challenge debut for the NSX GT3 at St Pete, but that’s street racing. We are back for another street fight at Long Beach on Acura’s ‘home’ circuit,” said NSX GT3 Project Leader Lee Niffenegger. “We’ve gone to great lengths between events to find even more speed and look forward to moving further forward on the grid. We are just one weekend into this season, but I’m confident in the direction we are heading.”
Acura NSX drivers Ryan Eversley and Peter Kox are hoping to give the Honda and Acura associates a reason to cheer this weekend, led by Eversley, who scored a seventh-place result in his initial Long Beach race a year ago.
“St. Pete had its ups and downs, but we are focusing on the positive and now that we have one street course under our belts, we think we can be even stronger with our new Acura NSX race cars,” Eversley said. “Long Beach is in HPD’s backyard and we will have a lot of Honda and Acura associates on hand. We hope to make them proud!”
The 11-turn, 1.968-mile Long Beach street circuit is a stern test for any driver, let alone one that has only experienced the track from afar. But Kox has great respect for the event, and is looking forward to competing for an expected weekend crowd of more than 150,000 fans.
“I am excited to go to Long Beach. I have never been there, but know it from years of watching F1 and Indy Car,” Kox said. “Can’t wait to get back in the Acura NSX GT3, as I feel we are moving in the right direction and will be more competitive here.”
The Pirelli World Challenge is one of the rare events on the calendar where the teams only run one race during the weekend. The third round of the 2017 campaign takes place Sunday at 10 a.m. PT, and the tape-delayed race broadcast can be seen that same afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.
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 Long Beach 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.