RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Just Misses Top-10 Run at VIR
5/1/2017 12:44:00 AM
- First Sprint X events with new Acura NSX GT3
- Tom Dyer and Ryan Eversley make up 16 spots in Sunday’s finale
- Mandatory pit stops prove challenging for entire field
Alton, VA – The Acura NSX GT3s of RealTime Racing delved into the new SprintX format of Pirelli World Challenge competition at Virginia International Raceway this weekend, and fought back from troubles to narrowly miss a top-10 result.
Ryan Eversley and Tom Dyer took their Acura NSX GT3 to 11th in Sunday's weekend finale and placed 19th in Saturday's event to lead the team, while the Peter Kox/Mark Wilkins pair retired with damage on Saturday after a pit-lane misstep left the team 14th on Sunday.
The big move of the weekend for the RealTime Acuras came on Sunday, when Dyer gridded 27th due to a pre-race engine change. Dyer started the race and clawed through the field before handing off to Eversley, who powered home to an 11th-place finish – gaining 16 spots.
"One position at a time right?" Dyer said of his Sunday strategy. "I just took it one corner … one position … one lap at a time, and you do the best you can without making any mistakes. For the most part, I think the mission today was to get a finish and keep accumulating data so that we can better the platform as a whole. I think we achieved that, and everyone is pleased."
"We had a tough weekend at VIR, but made some significant progress. The speeds of the natural terrain road course showed us some things we need to work on. The cars got significantly better every session," said NSX GT3 Project Leader Lee Niffenegger of Honda Performance Development. "The good news is that both cars avoided damage in Race 2 and closed the gap. We will take what we learned at VIR to improve for Mosport, and work with the Series on the areas we can't control."
The #93 Acura NSX suffered early-race damage on Saturday, forcing the car to the garage after just 11 of the 32 laps. Wilkins started strongly on Sunday, coming from the 20th spot to threaten the top 10 before a mishap during a driver change dropped the team back in the order.
"The left-side shoulder belt got stuck somehow on my Hans Device, so I couldn't get out,"explained Wilkins. "That slowed us down, and then when Peter got in, the right shoulder belt got a bit caught up, so the shoulder belts weren't doing us any favors today."
The SprintX format is new to the GT series in 2017, and sees the normal GT cars run a 60-minute race, during which each entry is required to make a mid-race pit stop as well as a driver change. This marked the first competition outing in the format for the RealTime Racing Acura NSXs and it showed the perils that are inherent any time a team must change drivers in the middle of a race.
"I think we've practiced driver changes 10 times more than everyone and as you can see, it can still go wrong. It was a shame," Kox reported. "As for the rest of the car, we kept improving. This was, for Acura, the first time racing on a proper circuit where you encounter all the difficulties and problems. We're still in the process of improving. If you look at where we started and where we ended, I think we improved a lot. It's a long season, so we have everything to play for and we just need to keep finishing."
The Pirelli World Challenge will also compete in the SprintX format in its next outing, which comes May 20-21 at Canadian Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
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 VIR 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.
SprintX Results Saturday:
|1||Mancinelli/Montermini||TR3 Racing||Ferrari 348 GT3||32 Laps|
|2||Skeen/A. Davis||McCann Racing||Audi R8 LMS||+ 0.239 sec.|
|3||Schein/Heylen||Wright Motorsports||Porsche 911 GT3||+ 6.155 sec|
|19||Eversley/Dyer||RealTime Racing||Acura NSX GT3||+ 1 Lap|
|NC||Kox/Wilkins||RealTime Racing||Acura NSX GT3||+ 21 Laps|
Race Results Sunday:
|1||Dalziel/Morad||CRP Racing||Mercedes AMG GT3||27 laps|
|2||Parente/Barnicoat||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650S||Under Caution|
|3||Cooper/J. Taylor||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS V-R||Under Caution|
|11||Eversley/Dyer||RealTime Racing||Acura NSX GT3||Under Caution|
|14||Kox/Wilkins||RealTime Racing||Acura NSX GT3||Under Caution|
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