IMSA: HPD working on NSX plans at Watkins Glen

IMSA: HPD working on NSX plans at Watkins Glen

IMSA

IMSA: HPD working on NSX plans at Watkins Glen

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Honda Performance Development has received plenty of interest from teams holding a desire to field a factory-assisted Acura NSX GT3 program next year. The California-based competition arm for the Acura and Honda brands has taken receipt of a test car built by the Italian JAS Motorsport outfit, and is in the midst of mapping out its plans to run a semi-works effort in one or more domestic sportscar series.

“We’re exploring the options on which series to run the car in for 2017, and which teams to run the car with, and once we get the series and the team nailed down, we can look at drivers,” HPD vice president Steve Eriksen told RACER.

“It’s one of the reasons I’m here talking to [IMSA] teams this weekend in Watkins Glen, and we’re look at options in Pirelli World Challenge’s GT class for what will be the best way to serve the brand and sell the car to customers so we can proliferate its presence throughout the paddocks.”

The plan for HPD is to support a NSX program in 2017 to showcase the twin-turbo V6 GT3 coupe and step back once sales increase and customers use the car for independent campaigns.

“We’ve done this with our customer LMP program and in touring car with Civics and Accords, so we’re hoping to leverage our support experience in those areas with the GT3 car for people who want to buy it and race it,” Eriksen added.

HPD’s solid partnership with Michael Shank Racing in IMSA’s Prototype class could place the Ohio-based team in pole position to run an NSX in the GT Daytona category, and with RealTime Racing serving as Acura/Honda’s most tenured team in sportscar racing on the PWC side, it also wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Wisconsinites moving from the Acura TLX to NSX platform in 2017.

According to Eriksen, it isn’t necessarily a case of either/or as HPD could choose to support the NSX in one series or multiple cars in both IMSA and PWC next year.

“It’s one of the scenarios we’re looking at,” he said. “We haven’t honestly decided on which option we’re going to pick. We’ve approached it with an open mind to see what makes the most sense. It’s all in the mix and we’ve already received a car and we’re looking forward to getting it out in a race debut.”

Asked if the NSX GT3 could turn up to race later this season, Eriksen said it’s under consideration.

“It really depends on how ready we believe the car is,” he said. “That’s another part of it in the mix – putting it through its paces in testing to see what we’ve got, where it’s at, and then make a judgment on when it’s ready to go racing.”

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