Acura Enhances NSX GT3, Also All Female Team For 2019

Acura Motorsports announced on Friday that they’ll unveil an enhanced Acura NSX GT3, designated the NSX GT3 Evo, will compete on racetracks throughout the world in 2019.

Based on the race-winning Acura NSX production model, the latest evolution of the multiple race-winning NSX GT3 features a number of important revisions aimed at delivering improved performance and reliability to customer racing teams around the globe. 

“We are extremely pleased to present the specification of the 2019 NSX GT3 Evo today,” said Masashi Yamamoto, general manager, Honda Motorsports. “While the car has already won in some of the world’s most prestigious GT3 series, we believe in constantly improving our products and providing the best possible equipment and support for our customers.

“Through the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Program, an international collaboration between a number of Honda’s technical partners, we have been able to combine expertise on a global level to define a set of upgrades for the latest version of the NSX GT3 that will benefit every one of our customer teams worldwide.”

Revised bodywork, including a new front splitter, diffuser and rear bumper, will reduce drag to create higher top speeds, improve cooling and enhance both balance and driveability for an even wider range of amateur and professional drivers.

New turbochargers will improve throttle response, boost control, and fuel economy and will be retrofitted to all existing NSX GT3s in addition to the new NSX GT3 Evo. Newly built cars will also feature improved hardware and calibrations for the anti-lock braking system (ABS), and an upgraded Bosch display and data-logging unit to increase efficiency and enhance the driver experience. These improvements will also be available as Variant Supply (VF) to retrofit to existing NSX GT3s.

The effects of these updates, the result of constant analysis of information generated from within the global NSX GT3 Customer Racing Program over the last two years of testing and racing, will be improved performance and reduced running costs, the result of a 25 percent increase in engine life and greater component durability.

The latest evolution of the Acura NSX GT3 retains the nucleus of what makes the NSX one of the most sought-after supercars for the road.

The 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engines are built alongside their production-vehicle counterparts at the Anna Engine Plant in Ohio, USA, and use the same design specification, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshafts, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system.

Several racing modifications to the car, including a six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox, state-of-the-art chassis and aerodynamic package, and the very latest in FIA-standard safety systems, complete the ultimate mid-engined GT3 racer.

As with the current NSX GT3 racer, chassis originate at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, USA. Final assembly is completed by JAS Motorsport in Milan, Italy.  As part of the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Program, Mugen and Honda Performance Development (HPD) are responsible for technical and sales support in Japan and North America, respectively, while JAS Motorsport has responsibility for vehicle support in the rest of the world.

The NSX GT3 made its debut in late 2016 and has tackled some of the world’s iconic GT races, including the 24 Hours of Daytona and Spa; the 12 Hours of Sebring; Petit Le Mans and the FIA GT World Cup in Macau.

The car is a multiple race winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTD division and is one of the main contenders for the Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles this year.

It is also a winner in the Pirelli World Challenge and a podium finisher in the Blancpain GT Series Asia. Examples have contested ADAC GT Masters in Germany, Super GT in Japan and selected events in the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

New Female Team

Heinricher Racing LLC, has entered into a partnership with Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona and the 2019 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on board the No. 57 MSR Acura NSX GT3 entry.  Heinricher, is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and founder of successful biotech company BooShoot.

In addition to Heinricher, from the U.S., the team will include Katherine Legge of England, Simona De Silvestro of Switzerland and Bia Figueiredo (Ana Beatriz) of Brazil. In partnership with Meyer Shank Racing (MSR), Heinricher, Legge and Figueiredo will also compete in the 2019 Michelin Endurance Cup Championship rounds with De Silvestro confirmed for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. The Endurance Cup will also include events at Sebring International Raceway, Watkins Glen International and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.  In addition to its full season IMSA campaign, Heinricher/MSR/CAT are targeting the 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The MSR team last raced and led laps at Le Mans in 2016 competing in the highly competitive LMP2 category. Legge and Heinricher will co-drive for the full-season IMSA GTD campaign.

“Caterpillar is committed to a diverse workplace that’s representative of the customers we serve around the world,” said Victoria Morrissey, Global Marketing and Brand Director.  “Women are an important, valuable part of our global team and this all-female race team is an example of how we support them.”   

“I am honored to partner with CAT and to have their support,” said Jackie Heinricher, Heinricher Racing.  “My vision has long been to bring together a diverse team of four female drivers, some of the fastest globally, to join forces to compete together, and with the support of CAT, I get to see my long held vision become reality.”  I am excited to be joining Michael Shank and the entire winning MSR team in this amazing partnership and to have the honor to compete with Katherine, Ana, and Simona.”  Heinricher Racing LLC will continue to build upon this innovative racing program with the exciting addition of development driver, Loni Unser.

“This is truly a groundbreaking effort for next year, not only for us as a team but for the series as well,” Mike Shank, owner of MSR. “It’s great to have Katherine (Legge) back with us, she has been doing great this season as we fight for the championship. I also want to thank Jackie (Heinricher) for developing the Caterpillar partnership and we are excited to have her on board. Simona (De Silvestro) and Bia (Figueiredo) are also very strong talents, and hopefully with them all joined together we can make a statement next year.”

“It feels great, I have always wanted to do something like this to show the appeal of racing to a wider audience,” said Legge. “Jackie (Heinricher) has done an amazing job to create this opportunity and develop this partnership. I’m thrilled to be working with Simona (De Silvestro) and Bia (Figueiredo), and it is exciting to return to Meyer Shank Racing with the Acura NSX GT3. We’ve had great success and we are looking forward to building on that starting at Daytona.”  

It’s pretty exciting and I think for sure the line up that we have is really strong,” said De Silvestro. “All of us girls have a lot of credibility and I think it will be quite exciting so I’m really looking forward to Daytona. I think the team dynamic will be very strong. For myself, it will be a little bit of learning but I am looking forward to it. It’s quite a special feeling to be a part of such a good team that has had a lot of success so I think this is going to be a great car to be in and to give us all a strong shot. I just can’t wait to go racing in Daytona, which I have always dreamt about.”

“I never thought this could happen in my career if you were to ask me a few years ago but it feels pretty exciting,” said Figueiredo. “I’ve known Katherine (Legge) and Simona (De Silvestro) for a long time and they had great success where they have raced. The MSR team is always fighting for wins and championships in IMSA and I am sure they will do the best they can to get this girl power team in high positions. I can’t wait to be in the car for such important races like Daytona where I’ve never raced before but I’ve always dreamt about.”

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