Ryan Eversley Returns to Road America with new Acura NSX; Personable GT racer looks to repeat “Magical” 2016 Performance
RealTime Racing Driver Dominated both GT Races last year at famed circuit
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Ryan Eversley calls his performance at the legendary Road America last year one of the best of his racing career.
The 33-year-old Atlanta, Ga., driver dominated the two Pirelli World Challenge GT 50-minute sprint races with his No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura TLX-GT sports car, scoring two impressive victories around the four-mile, 14-turn Road America road circuit.
Eversley led every lap in the two features in 2016 and his team owner Peter Cunningham took the sister Acura TLX-GT machine to second and fourth at the track just 40 minutes from the RealTime Racing headquarters in Saukville, Wis.
“We knew the TLX-GT was fast in a straight line last year at Road America,” said Eversley after his double race weekend. “We didn’t have the downforce of the other GT cars. But, in addition, the Acura was fast through the kink, the carousel and through turns one and 13. The guys at RealTime did a really great job getting the TLX to handle there.”
It was a special moment for Eversley a year ago with his team having family and friends at the track to celebrate. He is hoping for another similar moment when the PWC cars hit the Road America road circuit next week (June 22-25) in the Kohler Grand Prix with the Verizon IndyCar Series also in action.
“It was a great weekend for the whole team and being so close to the team’s shop,” Ryan said. “We had family and friends at the race. Peter was on the podium with me. That was definitely a magical weekend for me. The double win at Road America with the family and friends as well as the Acura bosses with HPD (Honda Performance Development) there was just special. Probably the best moment of my racing career.”
This year will be a little different for the RealTime Racing team as its team leader Cunningham will be competing at the famed Pike’s Peak Hill Climb in Colorado during the Road America event. Cunningham, the winningest driver in Pirelli World Challenge history, is hoping to add the legendary Pike’s Peak title to his driving resume.
And Eversley and his RealTime Racing teammate Peter Kox are eager to compete at Road America after a recent test session with the new Acura NSX GT3 sports car.
“This year, we tested the NSX at Road America and that car makes speed in different ways from the TLX,” said Eversley. “But we felt we made some good gains with the NSX and the car has been getting better with each race. We had a top-five car at Lime Rock with it and let’s hope the car shows well at Road America.
“Last year, the TLX had a minimum speed of 140 m.p.h. in the Kink at Road America. That’s hauling the mail there. The competitive level in Pirelli World Challenge GT is extremely high. You can have the best car in the field and finish fifth. Now it’s our team’s home race and track. I look forward to the Road America weekend more than most.”
Eversley admitted that he knew it would take time to develop the new Acura NSX and he believes that development is taking shape now as the team heads to Road America.
“I had some quotes earlier in the year that the first half of the 2017 PWC season will be for development of the NSX,” he said. “And then the second half will be stronger for us in making some podiums and racing with the leaders. This series is so stacked with big time drivers, teams and cars. You could be very fast and still run sixth. It’s that tough.
“Someone like former champions Patrick Long or Johnny O’Connell could be sixth or eighth in qualifying and they did nothing wrong. It’s just that competitive in Pirelli World Challenge right now. If you can be competitive in this field, you can be competitive any sports car racing in the world.”
“I’m pretty happy with the development of the NSX and how the Pirelli World Challenge has handled the BOP (Balance of Performance),” he said. “We are still learning a lot and we found out more about our car at the recent test and that should help us.”
Kox, the primary testing driver for the Acura NSX, sees the new sports car improving with every race in the Pirelli World Challenge and The Netherlands racer is excited to come to the legendary Road America course on Jun 22-25.
“The team has come a long way with our new NSX car,” said Kox. “The RealTime Racing team has worked hard to develop the Acura NSX. Hopefully, we can continue with our strong pace at Road America, which is close to RealTime Racing’s headquarters. We had a good performance at Lime Rock racing in the top-five throughout the weekend.”
Testing and practice rounds for the PWC Grand Prix of Road America presented by VP Racing Fuels get underway on Thursday (June 22) with qualifying and racing set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 23-25) as part of the Kohler Grand Prix.