Honda Performance Development VP and COO Steve Eriksen says the “goodness” of the Acura NSX GT3 package “will continue to reveal itself” when the Evo version debuts in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Acura’s updated GT3 model was revealed in October and will compete in this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class with Meyer Shank Racing.
Eriksen told Sportscar365 that the first two years of the global NSX GT3 program naturally fed into the development of the more aggressive Evo, which features aero and mechanical updates.
“The nice thing is to hear unfiltered feedback now that we’ve got more drivers in it than the ones who were involved in the development testing,” he said.
“You’re tied to your performance window, but the target is giving ourselves more flexibility and adjustability for a wide range of drivers, learning from the two years of running and taking a little feedback.
“That helped us narrow our efforts to adjust the things that were most important, and it made a big difference. You will see that flexibility as you face different ambient conditions and driver styles.”
Eriksen said that Acura achieved its “very modest” spending target for the NSX GT3 Evo, although he suggested that reducing costs in the GT3 category as a whole remains a challenge.
Acura, Lamborghini and Audi are all rolling out Evo kits this year, while Porsche, Aston Martin and McLaren are introducing entirely new cars.
“I think in the IMSA case there is a desire to reduce the cost, but some things that they want to do have to be phased in,” Eriksen said.
“I’d like to see costs reduced as well. That is a challenge. We’ve just got to keep a lid on it.
“[The NSX GT3 Evo] was a team effort between the suppliers and our partners, and I think it’s helping.
“Part of the package was an extension of running mileage on some key components. On every little piece, you’ve got to keep chipping away at it to reduce running costs.”
Additional NSX GT3 Evos Expected for 2019
Eriksen said that the Acura NSX GT3 Evo could soon appear in sprint competitions both in North America and further afield, with discussions taking place with prospective teams.
“There’s been a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes,” he said.
“We’ve been having the final throes of negotiation with a variety of different parties to take over some of the cars that we have already built.
“For Meyer Shank, and for the Caterpillar team, they’ve got brand-new cars. That freed us up to take the cars from last year and offer them to other entities to try to run.
“I think we’ll see some things coming out in the next few weeks that will be pretty positive. We’ve got more production going on in Italy for additional copies.
“We’re going to take some of them, and some of the output is allocated for the rest of the world. It’s exciting because we’re starting to build momentum.”
John Dagys contributed to this report