Gradient Racing will have a new look on its Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 driven by Mario Farnbacher and Marc Miller for next weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round on the streets of Long Beach.
The car will run in a unique new livery to promote a four-part anime
series, “Chiaki’s Journey.” Set, appropriately enough, at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the series “showcases the all-new line-up of Acura Type S performance vehicles that is driven by a young hero’s quest to overcome multiple challenges on her path toward victory,” according to Acura. The entire series is available for streaming on the official Acura YouTube channel.
“’Chiaki’s Journey’ combines anime with Acura’s ‘Less Talk, More
Drive’ cinematic-style, to draw a new generation of premium car buyers to the Acura brand,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. “I can’t think of a better place to showcase our performance-driven Acura Type S line than on the beautiful Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 to be raced on the streets of Long Beach by Mario and Marc, just as Chiaki races to victory here in the anime series.”
Team principal Andris Laivins relishes the prospect of competing at Acura’s home race. The 100-minute event is also the opening round of the WeatherTech Series’ Sprint Cup.
“Long Beach is going to be a really fun addition to our endurance schedule,” he said. “The entire team has performed at a super high level at Daytona and Sebring but we’ve had some bad luck, so an extra outing with our Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 is a nice way to keep the momentum up. Marc and Mario have both been on the podium in this chassis, our pit stops this season have been clicking, and I think we have a great shot next week.”
HPD pro racer Farnbacher added, “I’m thrilled that we get to participate in Acura’s backyard. I’m also excited because Marc and I are able to race together. I really enjoy the challenge of street circuits. The tight corners basically give you no runoff and no margin for error — that is such a great challenge. The risk-versus-reward nature of the track is what every driver really wants.”
The WeatherTech Championship portion of the Long Beach weekend, which will include the DPi, GTD Pro and GTD classes, runs Friday through Saturday, with the race set for 5:00-7:00 p.m. ET Saturday. IMSA’s Acura GP of Long Beach airs live on the USA network, with a streaming simulcast on Peacock.