Some stars of the IndyCar Series are among the big names on the driver's list for this pair of race cars.
Just as the road-going version of the new Acura NSX is starting to trickle out to buyers, the GT3-spec racer is also close to making its competition debut with Michael Shank Racing’s two-car entry at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on January 28. The team is now introducing the coupes’ stylish liveries and announcing the driver lineup.
“The debut of the Acura NSX GT3 at the prestigious Rolex 24 will mark the return of the Acura brand to IMSA sports car competition,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “We’ve aimed to race the NSX in North America since the car was just a sketch on paper, and we couldn’t more excited than to debut at Daytona.”
Michael Shank Racing’s NSX GT3’s feature liveries with a mirror-image effect. The #86 car, which represents Acura’s establishment in 1986, has a black front end with orange accents, and there’s a birds nest of lighter gray lines at the rear that eventually turn white at the tail. Conversely, the #93, a reference to HPD’s founding in 1993, flips this colour scheme by using a white front end and smoky slashes that transition to black strokes at the back.
The #86 car will have Oswaldo “Ozz” Negri Jr, Jeff Segal, Tom Dyer, and IndyCar-Series-star Ryan Hunter-Reay at the wheel. The #93 NSX GT3 will have Andy Lally, Katherine Legge, Mark Wilkins, and Graham Rahal in the driver’s seat during the 24-hour race.
Before competing at the 24-hour race at Daytona, Michael Shank Racing’s NSX GT3s will also be at the Roar Before the 24 testing session at the track from January 6-8. This event will be the first good chance to get an idea of how the coupe will perform against competitors during the 2017 WeatherTech Championship.
Unlike the all-wheel drive 2017 NSX on the road, the GT3 is purely rear-wheel drive. The hybrid powertrain is also gone, but the biturbo 3.5-litre V6 engine shares many of the internal components with the road-going model. A six-speed sequential gearbox replaces the street version’s dual-clutch, nine-speed automatic transmission. Acura builds the GT3 at its Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, just like the version in showrooms.