LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Back-to-back race weekends provide stern challenges for Pirelli World Challenge teams even under the best of circumstances.
Unfortunately, this weekend’s GT event at Lime Rock Park doesn’t present the best of circumstances.
Ryan Eversley’s #43 RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT sustained heavy damage in last Sunday’s race in Canada, and the tight schedule forced team owner and championship-winning driver Peter Cunningham to make the difficult decision to temporarily reduce the team’s effort to a single car for this weekend’s event.
“The No. 43 car took quite a hit against the concrete barrier in Sunday’s race,” said Cunningham. “To repair the chassis properly, we need to get it back to our workshop, and because of the quick turnaround, it would’ve been impossible to affect a proper fix in time. Since Ryan is on top of his game and in a better points position, it made sense for him to carry the RealTime flag, to hopefully generate the best results for Acura in Connecticut this weekend.”
Eversley earned the team’s first podium of the 2016 season last Saturday, placing third at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. But despite starting third on Sunday, he was eliminated in a first-lap crash that dropped him just out of the top 10 in the season championship.
“Acura Motorsports experienced the highs and lows of racing last weekend. A return to podium form on Saturday was blunted by the severe damage to the Number 43 car on Sunday,” said Senior Program Engineer Lee Niffenegger of Honda Performance Development. “Unfortunately, the Number 43 will have to sit out Lime Rock, but a real ’team’ decision was made to put Ryan in the Number 42. Though we will be a car short, I’m certain that everyone will respond to the situation with positive results.”
Cunningham’s RealTime Racing squad has a legacy of success at the 1.5-mile track tucked in the hills of Lakeville, Connecticut. The owner/driver has two of his team’s eight Lime Rock wins dating to 1993. Eversley will look to become the fifth RTR driver to win at Lime Rock, while rewarding his team owner for his generous decision.
“I’m obviously very disappointed to have to switch chassis,” lamented Eversley, “but I am extremely thankful to my teammate and friend Peter for giving up his seat for the weekend. Lime Rock should suit our Acura TLX pretty well and I’m determined to give these RealTime guys something to smile about after a terrible second race at Mosport.”
Pirelli World Challenge qualifying takes place Friday at 2:05 p.m. ET with Round 10 getting underway at 4:55 p.m. Round 11 takes place Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET. The 50-minute race broadcasts can be viewed live on the Internet at www.world-challengeTV.com. The tape-delayed race broadcast can be seen June 5 at 4 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.
Developed from the production Acura TLX by HPD and RealTime Racing, the Acura TLX GT features HPD chassis and aerodynamic performance parts approved for Pirelli World Challenge competition. It is powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developed by HPD from the production Acura TLX.