SprintX format requires pit stops and driver changes during 60-minute races. Tom Dyer and Mark Wilkins back behind the wheel for year’s SprintX Rounds 6-7. Acura NSX GT3 team looking to become sixth different SprintX winner in 2017
TORRANCE, Calif, – There is an old racing adage that says that it isn’t where you start, it’s where you finish. But a trying weekend at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago showed the RealTime Racing Acura NSX squad that starting farther up the grid can generally make the trip to the front a lot easier.
The NSX GT3 cars started in the top 10 at Mid-Ohio and, while Ryan Eversley and Peter Kox got their customary good starts and were able to earn a couple of spots in both races, a tight track blunted their abilities to move up and left them with finishes outside the top five.
This weekend will give the team a better chance to stretch its legs, as the Pirelli World Challenge GT3 series travels to the 14-turn, 3.048-mile road course of Utah Motorsports Campus. The event will again be in the SprintX format that was introduced to the GT class this year, requiring each Acura NSX GT3 squad to conduct a pit stop and driver change as part of the 60-minute race. As was the case in the previous five SprintX rounds, Ryan Eversley will partner with Tom Dyer in the #43 machine, while Mark Wilkins joins Peter Kox in the #93 Acura NSX GT3.
“We had a bit of a frustrating start to the weekend at the last round, but our pace was on a par with the front of the field by the end of the weekend,” said NSX GT3 Project Leader Lee Niffenegger. “Unfortunately, it is notoriously hard to pass at Mid-Ohio, and that put a top five [result] just out of reach. Utah will present many more opportunities for passing, but the goal is to qualify at the front and make the path to the podium a bit easier this weekend.”
“Utah should be a good track for the NSX. It’s smooth and has some faster corners, which our car seems to be pretty good at,” opined Eversley. “Tom and I are currently inside the top 10 in points for Sprint X, so we want to have a clean weekend where we can put some more points on the board. We had a really strong test at COTA a few weeks back, where Tom was able to join us. We seem to like the same setup, so I’m always excited to share the Acura NSX with him.”
Kox makes his return to the Utah track where he ran in the first practice with the SprintX cars and topped the time sheets a year ago, leaving him eager to get back to work this weekend.
“If it’s up to me I would like to repeat the feat!” Kox said “But this time, instead of leading one session, Mark and I will be working hard to achieve those results throughout the entire weekend. This is a good track for us and we are feeling positive about our chances.”
The Acura quartet will get its weekend underway Saturday with qualifying at 1 p.m. Eastern. The first of the weekend’s two 60-minute races takes place Saturday at 3:40 p.m. ET with Sunday’s finale getting the green flag at 2:30 p.m ET.
Tape-delayed coverage of Rounds 6 and 7 of the SprintX campaign can be seen on August 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network. Fans can also follow the action live via streaming video at www.motortrendondemand.com
The Acura NSX GT3 race car 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.