Acura NSX GT3 Program on Schedule; Surprise Public Testing Session this Week
2017 North American campaign target is "on schedule"by Robert Moore, on
When Acura showed up at the New York Auto Show with the 2017 NSX GT3 in its booth, all of us here at TopSpeed went a little crazy. We’ve known that the plan was to homologate the car as an FIA GT3 racer this fall, and so far, it looks like everything is on schedule. In a press call today, Acura announced a number of things, including a surprise public testing session during the Pirelli World Challenge practice session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The car will be driven by Peter Kox, who has been named as the official NSX GT3 development driver and has driven various GT3 vehicles in Europe in the past. The NSX GT3 will take its turn on the 2.25-mile, 14-turn course on Thursday, July 28 and on Friday, July 29. According to Art St. Cyr – the President of Honda Performance Development, the car is “pretty much a stunner” and steady progress has been made thus far.
“Based on a very successful test program, we’re taking the next logical step in seeing how we stack-up against the competition,” Said St. Cyr. “Mid-Ohio seemed like the perfect opportunity, given the demands it places on a racecar and its proximity to NSX R&D and manufacturing.”
During the press call, it was stressed that this car isn’t in finalized form, which means there could be any number of changes before we see the finalized version, including changes to the cockpit. The car you see here in these pictures is the primary development car, so don’t expect to see Kox get too wild behind the wheel. As Art St. Cyr put it, they aren’t racing the car so they are “limiting the risk that it will get smashed up.”
Why it Matters
The NSX GT3 isn’t the only Acura that will be on hand at the Pirelli World Challenge this week, as – in partnership with RealTime Racing – there two Acura TLX GT cars are being campaigned. While this is the first time the NSX GT3 is being publicly tested here in the U.S., the initial development and testing was done by Acura’s Japanese race engineering team at race circuits in Europe and Japan. From here on out, however, development and testing are in the hands of Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, California.
So far, the NSX GT3 is on track for racing in the 2017 season, but we’re really hoping to see it at the tail end of the 2016 season. Furthermore, no specific teams or racing series has been announced for the 2017 season, but there will be more information about that in the near future. According to Art St. Cyr, it “wouldn’t really make sense” for the NSX GT3 to debut for the tail end of 2016, but he didn’t confirm or deny it either. The results from testing this week will pave the way for plans in the short-term.
For now, we know for sure that the NSX GT3 use the same aluminum space frame and the 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V-6 that is found in the road-going NSX. It will be built in Ohio, just like the road-going NSX, and will be sent for homologation testing this September. For now, we’re looking forward –as is everyone at Acura and HPD – to seeing how the new NSX GT3 stacks up against the competition later this week. Check back with us soon for updates.