Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s Prepare for California Street Fight
• Two Acura entries to tackle Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix
• First of two street races on 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar
• MSR team seeks to build on endurance round results
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 3, 2017) – Michael Shank Racing brings its pair of Acura NSX GT3s to the streets of Southern California this weekend, seeking to build on encouraging results scored at the season-opening classic endurance races: the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
One of only two street-circuit events on the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule, Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach is also one of the shortest – just 100 minutes from green to checkered flags – presenting a different set of challenges for the MSR team and Acura.
“While we certainly were encouraged by the performances of the NSX GT3 at Daytona and Sebring, those classic circuits are fast and relatively open circuits. In addition, the long-distance nature of both events put a heavy emphasis on reliability and strategy,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, which also oversees the Acura Motorsports effort.
“Michael Shank Racing and Acura now face the new challenge of a relatively short race on the narrow confines of a temporary street circuit,” St. Cyr added. “It’s going to be an exciting event, and we’re looking forward to the debut of the NSX GT3 at one of our ‘home’ events, just down the freeway from American Honda’s corporate headquarters in Torrance [CA].”
In the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, the MSR Acuras dominated the overnight hours and led 171 of 634 laps, prior to a best finish of fifth in the 27-car GTD field for the #86 Acura co-driven by Jeff Segal, Oswaldo “Ozz” Negri Jr., Tom Dyer and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Segal, Negri and Dyer then combined to finish eighth at Sebring. Full-time drivers Segal and Negri will be at the wheel of the #86 Acura again this weekend in Long Beach.
The #93 NSX GT3 of Andy Lally, Katherine Legge and Mark Wilkins ran as high as third at Sebring before losing time halfway through the 12-hour race to replace a failed spring/damper unit. Full-season drivers Lally and Legge will again be paired in the white-and-black #93 Acura this weekend.
Competing in the GTD class of the sports car racing championship, the NSX GT3s race against premium automotive brands including Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche
Developed from the production Acura NSX, the NSX GT3 utilizes the production NSX’s ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with aluminum-intensive space frame, which is produced at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio, exclusive worldwide manufacturing facility for the NSX. The 3.5-liter racing engine uses the same design specifications as the production Acura NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. A six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels.
The Acura NSX GT3 adds to a rich legacy of Acura sports car racing championships, including the 1991, 1992 and 1993 IMSA Camel Lights manufacturer and driver championships, and the 2009 American Le Mans Series manufacturer, driver and team championships in both the LMP1 and LMP2 classes.
The Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach begins at 4 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 8, with live television coverage on the Fox Network and online coverage available at IMSA.tv.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Acura racing activities at Long Beach – along with Honda IndyCar action – will be 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.