2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car
The 2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car is a unique version of the Acura NSX that serves as the official pace car for the 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Essentially a production model fitted with pace-specific features, the 2019 NSX is the fifth consecutive Acura to pace the "Race to the Clouds." The second-gen NSX first served as the pace car for this event in 2015.
The Japanese pace car will be driven to the Pikes Peak summit by David Donner. A six-time Pikes Peak champion, Donner is also the current holder of the Time Attack 2 Production class record. The pace car will be joined by five other race entries, including two NSX cars. James Robinson will drive one in the Time Attack 1 class, while Nick Robinson will drive the second in the same category. Acura also fields the TLX GT in the Open class, the RDX A-Spec in the Exhibition class, and the MDX Sport Hybrid in the Exhibition class.
Acura Has One Hell of a Line up for the 2019 Pikes Peak Hill Climb
For the eighth consecutive year, Acura is returning to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a lineup of would-be conquerors, determined to build off the automaker’s dominant run in last year’s event when it set numerous records in multiple classes and categories. This year, Acura’s Pikes Peak lineup includes four home-grown models that will be driven by the automaker’s very own research and development engineers. A fifth car, the Acura TLX GT, will be driven by driver Peter Cunningham, who’s as motivated as anybody to eclipse the record-setting time of 9:27.352 that he set last year with that year’s version of the TLX GT. As five models aren’t enough, a separate Acura NSX will serve as the event’s resident pace car for the fifth consecutive year, having first taken that role in 2015. As other automakers have come to identify specific races as their own, it’s hard to argue against Acura staking claim to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Not only has it established numerous records in the annual race, but it has also set itself up as the dominant force in the race over the last few years. If past performances hold firm, this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb could once again turn into Acura’s very one showcase.
Acura Plans To Race Up Pikes Peak With A 400 Horsepower MDX Sport Hybrid
Known as the ’Race to the Clouds,’ the annual Pikes Peak International Hillclimb event is arguably the best well-known of its kind and one of the hardest to master. That’s why Acura is deploying a five-car time at Pikes Peak this year although we’ll be focusing on just one of them: a modified MDX Sport Hybrid three-row SUV that’s said to put out 400 horsepower without the exterior appearance (minus the Acura livery, of course) suggesting it means business.
The 12.42-mile-long strip of road that climbs all the way up to 14,115 feet and forms the course of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb was once covered in dirt from one end to the other. Then, as time went by, asphalt started replacing dirt and, now, there’s tarmac everywhere. But this hasn’t stopped all sorts of people showing in all sorts of cars which, on the face of it, seem very unfit for the (potentially deadly) challenge that is the race in Colorado. An SUV might now be the first thing that you’d bring to climb the mountain, but with there being such a big mountain for these high-riding vehicles, it’s become quite appealing for some manufacturers to show up and try to beat the SUV record. The Pikes Peak isn’t the "new" Nurburgring with everybody bragging about how fast they can go around there, but it may become soon enough.
Take A Ride Around Laguna Seca In An Acura NSX GT3 Race Car: Video
When Acura revealed the second-generation NSX at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, we were smitten. Sporting a hybrid 3.5-liter V-6 boosted by two turbochargers and no less than three electric motors, the new NSX carries the torch of its predecessor as a high-tech ground-bound spaceship capable of warp speed on the track. As such, we think it made perfect sense for Acura to offer a competition-spec iteration. Honed by Honda Performance Development, the NSX GT3 builds on the baseline of its street-going sibling with more aggressive aerodynamics, a stripped down interior, hardcore suspension bits, and nearly 600 horsepower at the rear axle via a six-speed sequential transmission. The advanced AWD system was ditched to meet homologation standards, and the result is a car that’s more raw, more brutal, and more in your face than ever before. It’s the perfect fit for tackling a beast like California’s Laguna Seca race track, as evidenced by this onboard footage from our friends over at Racer.
Shot from the driver’s helmet point of view, the five-minute clip was taken during testing for the 8 Hours of California endurance race set to take place this weekend. At the helm is Acura factory driver Ryan Eversley, who wheels the NSX around the challenging circuit with precision and unflappable poise, blasting around slower traffic with relative ease. All very impressive stuff, and we can’t wait to see where the Acura team will end up when the checkered flag flies this weekend.
2018 Acura ARX-05 DPi
Launched in 1986, Acura has come a long way in 30 years, evolving from a small two-car lineup into a full-fledged automaker with no fewer than six offerings in 2017. Acura also entered motorsport very early, hitting the race tracks in 1991, just five years after its launch. So far, it has raced in some of the most important motorsport series, including the SCCA, IMSA GT, and the American Le Mans, scoring class wins at Daytona and Sebring. In 2009, the brand produced its very first LMP1 prototype car, the Acura ARX-02a. Come 2017, and the Japanese firm is joining the IMSA SportsCar Championship with its latest DPi prototype, the ARX-05.
Developed for the 2018 season, the ARX-05 will join the top tier of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where it will go against Cadillac, Mazda, Ligier, and Nissan. A new team will bring together Acura Motorsports and Team Penske in an effort to win the championship against Cadillac, which has dominated the 2017 season. The multi-year DPi program will be headed by Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm for both Acura Motorsports and Honda Racing in North America. The ARX-05’s official debut will take place at the season-opening Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2018.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura ARX-05 DPi.
Acura NSX GT3 To Be Sold Globally
In case you were somehow unaware, let me be the first to tell ya – GT3 racing is an awesome spectacle. Imagine a long line of production-based competition vehicles hailing from some of the biggest names in automotive performance. Forget the V-8-powered metal shells of NASCAR and the unobtanium spaceships of Formula 1 – GT cars are actually somewhat recognizable as iterations of their street-legal counterparts, plus the requisite aero enhancements, of course. For well-heeled individuals interested in playing race car driver, the GT3 class makes for a tempting adventure, especially with all the customer racing options now offered direct from the factory. Now, Acura is sweetening the pot with this – the NSX GT3 race car, available to anyone with an extra $500,000 to burn and an insatiable need for speed.
Offered for purchase globally in anticipation of the 2018 race season, the NSX GT3 is close in spec to the street machine, but with some notable differences – for example, the hybrid AWD system was replaced with RWD and gas-only power. Honda Performance Development is taking orders now, starting at 465,000 Euros, or $546,491 at current exchange rates (07/28/2017). North American buyers are directed to browse AcuraClientRacing.com, while MUGEN2 is handling sales in Japan. Buyers in the rest of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East are advised to contact JAS Motorsport. Acura and Honda are also offering customers access to “parts and service,” as well as “training and engineering services,” if needed. Read on for more info on the car.
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Acura’s Preparing For a Full-On Onslaught at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Over the past five years, Acura has been a staple at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It’s done quite well for itself there, including last year when it sent three modified NSX supercars, scoring the Time Attack 2 win with a time of 10 minutes and 28 seconds. This year, the Honda-owned automaker will make it six years in a row at Pikes Peak, and once more, it’s bringing with it some heavy-hitting machinery, including a GT3-inspired NSX, a TLX GT racer, and a debuting TLX A-Spec racer.
All three cars will be competing in Pikes Peak, so don’t expect these machines to be run of the mill. Each have been prepared specifically to handle the rigorous hill climb, arriving at the event packing aerodynamic, engine, and suspension upgrades. Pikes Peak isn’t your typical race track after all, so you can be sure that all three cars are getting ready to stake their names in the race. Beyond having these racers, Acura’s involvement at Pikes Peak also extends to pace car duties since the company is the Official Pace Car sponsor at this year’s race. On top of that, Acura is also participating in a handful of pre-race activities to showcase all of the four-wheeled racing hardware it’s bringing to the event and hosting an MDX Rookie Orientation in the lead-up to the race. It’s going to be a busy weekend for Acura when the flags start flying on June 23.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Acura NSX GT3 Race Car
The Acura NSX went on sale just a month ago, on February 25th, 2016, with the launch of its online configurator. With that being the case, it’s pretty easy to assume that we’ve heard the last news about the NSX for a while, but then Acura decides to throw us a curve ball. It showed up at the New York Auto Show with a GT3 variant of the new Acura NSX. Along with the debut of this new model comes Acura’s intent to homologate the model as an FIA GT3 class race car this fall.
As you probably know, this isn’t Acura’s first rodeo, as it has ran campaigns in the 1991 through1993 IMSA Camel Lights championships, the 2009 American LeMans championships – in LMP1 and LMP2 classes – and is currently running a couple of TLX GT cars with Real Time Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge. Should the NSX GT3 pass its current testing with flying colors, it will partake in GT3 racing later this year.
The NSX GT3 was initially developed by Acura’s Japanese race engineering team and has already tested on various circuits in Europe and Japan. The car is now undergoing testing in Santa Clarita, California, under Honda Performance Development – Acura’s North American race engineering group. Art St. Cyr, the president of HPD, said, “The NSX was designed as a pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance, and we’re looking forward to proving out its ultimate performance capabilities in GT3 racing.” He continued, “We’ll be working with the NSX engineering teams in Ohio and Japan to bring our dream of a truly world-class new Acura NSX race car to fruition.”
Given the overall acceptance and fan base of the new Acura NSX, it’s no surprise Acura is so quick to jump on the GT3 wagon. While the NSX GT3 shares a lot of commonalities with the road-going NSX, it also features its own unique differences that make it ready to take on the GT3 class. With that said, let’s take a look at the new NSX GT3 and what it will bring to the race track later this year.
Update 07-30-2016: We’ve created a new video to cover the highlights of the new Acura NSX GT3. Let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura NSX GT3 Race Car.
Why Acura Needs to Build a Road-Legal Version of the NSX GT3
The return of the Acura NSX means more than just having a second-generation model of one of the greatest sports car ever built. The new NSX also means that Acura is finally committed to offering high-performance hybrid drivetrains, as well as returning to high-profile motorsports. The latter will be achieved through the NSX GT3, an all carbon-fiber race car unlike anything the luxury company has built so far.
The second-gen NSX will also spawn a higher-performance model, the Type R, which should be downright amazing, but I think that Acura shouldn’t stop here. Now that it has a proper sports car for the road and what’s appears to be a potent race car for the track, Acura should take things up a notch provide us with a road-going version of the FIA-spec GT3.
It might sound a bit ludicrous given that the Type R will be a significant step up in terms of performance and looks, but in today’s market an extreme, track-ready model is mandatory for a company like Acura. And, here’s why.
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Even though it hasn’t hit the streets yet, the 2016 Acura NSX is already in its second season of competition in the GT500 class of Japan’s Super GT series (where it races as a Honda), and now it’s looking increasingly likely that the NSX could race elsewhere, in either the GT3 or GTE classes or possibly both. But to understand Honda’s intentions, it’s also important to understand the sometimes confusing world of GT racing.
GT racing is currently in the middle of renaissance, and Honda isn’t the only company getting in on the action. The FIA’s GT3 class in particular has exploded in popularity, with countless series in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. There are no factory teams. Instead, the cars are sold directly to racing teams, but the corporate proxy battle between Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Lamborghini, Nissan and McLaren has been raging for years, with Bentley and Lexus joining the fray more recently. The cars are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain, which makes them ideal for privateer teams.
The FIA GTE class, on the other hand, is more often the reserve of factory-backed racing teams, and includes the 2014 Chevy Corvette C7.Rs and 2013 Porsche 911 RSRs that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the GTLM class in the United SportsCar Series. Despite having a similar appearance, they’re more complex and expensive than GT3 cars. They’re thought to be bit quicker too, but that’s far from certain, since the two classes rarely compete at the same venue.
Sportscar365 recently asked Honda Performance Development VP and COO Steve Erikson where he thought the NSX GT will end up. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” said Eriksen. “It was one of the reasons I was at a recent race at Road America, to try and get a sense of what the options are and how well those options fit with American Honda’s plans of promoting the car.”
Acura currently runs its 2015 Acura TLX-GT in the Pirelli World Challenge series. Several GT3 cars currently compete in the series, but it’s slated to adopt full GT3 rules for the 2016 season, which would make the all-wheel-drive TLX-GT ineligible. With a new GT3 spec NSX, the company could continue to compete in that series and potentially even sell a few to customer teams. A GTE NSX, on the other hand, would be eligible to compete in high-profile endurance races, like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other World Endurance Championship rounds.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into what we might expect from an NSX GT race car.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura NSX GT Car.
Honda hasn’t been shy about showing off racing versions of the upcoming 2016 Acura NSX supercar, but it seems that an actual customer race version of the car might be in the works. This would mean the car is compliant with either GT3 or GTE FIA classes of racing. It would be a way to move beyond the racing prototypes Honda has for publicity purposes now, and get into real-world track experience and feedback from customers. This is becoming a more and more regular thing for automakers, and it would keep future versions of the car competitive.
Honda, or more accurately Acura, already has a customer race car in the form of the 2015 Acura TLX-GT. This car was built specifically to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge, but this whole series is looking to undergo a rule change to bring it in line with FIA GT3 regulations, and updating the TLX-GT would be a big job for Honda; not one that would necessarily be worth it. So starting over with a new car might be a better way to go, and this new car would also then be eligible for other GT3-classes.
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Honda and Acura weren’t racing in any official capacity at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, but watching this video of the 2016 Acura NSX pace car charging up the treacherous mountain road, you’d be forgiven for assuming otherwise.
Honda public relations senior manager Sage Marie piloted the NSX and led the field of 140 entrants up the 156-turn, 12.4-mile course to over 14,000 feet above sea level. PR guys (and most automotive journalists despite what they tell you) usually aren’t known for their skills behind the wheel, but Sage is the exception to the rule. He’s won in Pirelli World Challenge B-Spec racing and previously competed at Pikes Peak in 2012 and 2014. He it knows well, because he certainly doesn’t leave much out on the course for this run.
Aside from its unique Pikes Peak pace car livery, this is a near-production-spec NSX, meaning it’s powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbo V-6 displacing 3.5 liters. The ICE is supplemented by three electric motors, two directly powering each of the front wheels and the third mounted between the engine and the nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.
No official numbers have been released, but we’re expecting the NSX to have well over 500 horsepower. The torque-vectoring front motors should also endow it with physics defying handling. Plus, with an estimated price of around $150,000, it should be a good $1 million cheaper than those fast hybrids from Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren. But, the question remains if it’ll be able to teach the exotics a few new lessons like its predecessor did.
Until we find out, enjoy the Pikes Peak video and checkout our full review of the 2016 NSX.
For a car which only just began production, we sure have seen an awful lot of the new 2016 Acura NSX. But we don’t hear anybody complaining, and soon we’ll get another good look, as the NSX will be the official pace car of the 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This is not the full-on racing version of the car which Honda has also shown off recently, again ahead of the car hitting showrooms, and as a pace car it won’t really get to open up the throttle. But since seeing the car at all is pretty special at this stage, it’s fine if it’s not hitting its top speed.
The car will be driven by Sage Marie of American Honda Public Relations, who also has some racing experience, including two runs at Pikes Peak. The car will be prominently displayed when not actually being driven, for those in attendance to look at. Also, Honda is setting up cameras all along the course in order to post shots of the car in motion all over social media. The car’s livery is new, but the heritage black, white and red color scheme is always used for the new NSX.
Continue reading to learn more about the new Acura NSX pace car.
About a year after the introduction of the 2015 Acura TLX GT racecar, Acura got its first win in the Pirelli World Challenge series, and the luxury automaker has equally lofty expectations for its newest racecar set to commence competition in the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) series. Introduced at the New York Auto Show, the Acura ILX Endurance Racer is based on the updated 2016 Acura ILX, and it has all of the racing goodies needed to compete in one of the top semi-pro racing series in the U.S.
Acura has its sights set on winning at NASA’s flagship race, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. This race is run at the three-mile Thunderhill Raceway Park in California, and it is the longest endurance race in America.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Acura ILX NASA Endurance Racer.
Honda is bringing some awesome hardware to run up the mountain in this year’s Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. Honda has a storied history on the mountain including records for EV racers in ’94 and ’99 and last year Honda set the record for fielding the most O.E.M-sponsored vehicles in the most classes. They ran 11 cars in 10 separate classes.
This year Honda is returning to Pike’s Peak and it is bringing one of my favorite sports cars of all time, the first-gen Acura NSX. As one of the few Japanese supercars, it already deserves praise, but when you consider Honda used F1 racing legend Ayrton Senna to help design and sort the chassis, you have a true driver’s car for the ages.
It would have been amazing to see Honda field a new NSX prototype, but with the constant back and forth regarding that vehicles production, I doubt Honda even has enough parts together to create racing mule if they wanted to.
Apart from the NSX, Honda has planes to run a Fit EV, a B-Spec class Fit racer, a CBR600RR motorcycle and a TRX450 ATV in the event. Honda is also quick to point out that much of their ATV equipment is also being used by race officials to travel around the mountain.
While I am most interested in the NSX, Honda is also helping to power a Norma M20FC entrant in the Unlimited class. It looks like Honda is going all-in on Pike’s Peak, and that makes us super happy.
Click past the jump to read more about some of Honda’s Pike Peak entrants.
Along with the 2015 TLX Prototype Acura also unveiled the TLX GT Race Car at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. The new Acura racer will be raced in the Pirelli World Challenge Championship where it will face the likes of the Audi R8 LMS, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Corvette and many more.
The new Acura TLX GT Race Car was developed by Honda Performance Development (HPD) and is offered with an impressive list of updates over the base TLX, including a new HPD-developed chassis and an aero kit, which includes a front lip spoiler, side skirts, front and rear bumpers and a huge rear wing, to keep the racer glued to the track.
Under its hood, HPD took the base TLX’s direct-injected, V-6 engine and strapped on a pair of turbochargers to bump its power to racing levels. Also included is Acura’s Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system for optimal traction.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car.
Two days ago, Acura unveiled the first video showing the NSX prototype in action on the race track on a rainy day. Today, the NSX is back on the track for a short testing session before the Indy 200 Mid-Ohio race and Acura dropped a new teaser video for us.
We don’t know about you, but we cannot wait for Sunday to come so we can finally see the NSX in all its glory on the race track. Not too long after its race-track debut, the production version should be ready for the 2015 model year.
The production NSX will combine a mid-mounted V-6 engine with Acura’s new three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) system. Rumors suggest that this combination will deliver a total output of about 400 horsepower - quite an improvement over the 1991 NSX, which delivered 270 horsepower.
Next to the ILX "Street Build" Concept developed in cooperation with Evasive Motorsports, Acura has also unveiled the ILX Endurance Racer at the 2012 SEMA Show. This racer be will making its competition debut at next month’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race where it will compete against models like the Porsche GT3 and Mazda MX5 Miata.
The ILX Endurance Racer was built using a Acura ILX "body in white" bare chassis, with all the work done by Team Honda Research- West. The main focus was to reduce the vehicle’s weight and improve overall performance numbers. The race car still needed to include all of the safety equipments required by NASA, so Acura added a full roll cage, a Bride Gardis III race seat, an OMP competition steering wheel, a Schroth safety harness, Brockway Engineering D Gauge digital OBD2 gauges, and a Braille lightweight battery.
Exterior updates include a new set of Baja Designs LED lighting system for long winter night-running, a THR-W-designed front splitter, and an APR GTC-200 rear spoiler.
The Endurance Racer is powered by a K24Z7 engine mated to a 6-speed transmission. The engine’s cooling is ensured by new AEM air intakes and the luscious exhaust note will be enjoyed because of the custom-built AEM/120 Racing exhaust. The Acura ILX will also be equipped with a new set of Enkei RPF1 wheels fitted with BF Goodrich R1 race tires. Other updates include an H&R suspension, limited-slip differential, motor mounts, anti-roll bars, and rear upper suspension control arms.
The cool thing about an auto show like SEMA is that aftermarket companies from all over America - and sometimes from out of the country, too - all get the shine they deserve.
Team Honda Research West, in collaboration with Honda Performance Development and Solo Motorsports, will be presenting a pair of Acura ILX Race Cars that are both scheduled to compete later this year at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
Apparently, the objective in bringing these two cars to SEMA is to give potential teams a chance to give the race cars a thorough look-around should they have interest in campaigning their own ILX racers in a racing series or two.
Full specs of the ILX Race Cars will be unveiled at SEMA so stay tuned for all of that when Las Vegas welcomes the automotive aftermarket world with open arms at the tail end of October.
SEMA’s coming, fellas. And if these ILX Racers are an indication of what we’re in store for, consider us pumped and ready to roll!
When the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was postponed last month because of the Colorado wildfires, it was met with understanding from a lot of people given the circumstances, but also with hints of disappointment from fans of the event.
But all’s about to be forgiven when the 90th installment of the event kicks off on August 12. One vehicle that comes as a late entry into the party is this insane Acura NSX from the guys over at LoveFab in Traverse, Michigan. We say that word "insane" because the car features a ridiculous engine under its hood in the make of a twin-turbo C96S engine that produces a whopping 850 horsepower.
Needless to say, those numbers are tantamount to what you’d expect from cars that will be participating at Pikes Peak. Will the LoveFab NSX have what it takes to steal the show?
That remains to be seen, but it sure wouldn’t hurt that it has 850 horsepower to lean on to.
Check out videos of LoveFab’s Acura NSX by clicking on the photo above!
The NSX Concept unveiled by Acura at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show is powered by a VTEC 3.5-liter V6 with direct-injection combined with a built-in electric motor. The production version will be offered with exactly the same powertrain, but other versions may be coming out of the woodwork. In an interview with Autoguide, an individual involved in Honda’s motorsports efforts announced that Acura is also taking an NSX supercar under consideration and this version could be powered by a conventional gasoline engine. Before you get too excited, know that this model may only be built for racing competitions.
The same Acura insider announced that the company is aiming for a possible competition in North America, highlighting the Grand Am series as one option. However, if the company wants to race in this competition, they will have to come equipped with a gasoline engine because hybrids are not allowed to race in the series.
Acura PR manager Gary Robinson said: "we do intend to race the new NSX… it is much too early to discuss where or what the specifications might be." Robinson did, however, rather decisively shoot down the rumor, commenting that, "You can expect that any plans we make will be consistent with the concept and purpose of the car."
Speaking of ambitious car building efforts, when a team decides to go racing there is almost nothing that can sand in their way, not even having to build a complete race car from scratch. When Patrón Highcroft racing driver Scott Sharp totaled his Acura ARX-02a LMP1 car heading into turn 3 during a practice session for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the fun loving tequila drinking team was faced with that very task. After making sure that Sharp was still on point and stripping the wrecked Acura for whatever was still race worthy, all that the Acura racing team could do was wait.
The brand new carbon fiber tub arrived directly from Honda’s Performance Development center in California at the racetrack in Atlanta, Georgia at 9:30 AM on Friday morning and after 15 and a half hours of non stop wrenching, the ARX-02a’s 4.0 Liter V8 was fired at around 1:00 AM the next day. About six hours later the Acura took the shape of an LMP car and was on the track and race ready by 9:45 AM Saturday morning. It might have been a tall order, but remember what we said about how nothing can keep a racing team from competing.
Crash video after the jump.