RealTime Racing is set to shift from its all-wheel drive Acura TLX-GT to a two-wheel drive version for the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GT season.
The team had its first rear-wheel drive test at Road America earlier this month, with Ryan Eversley behind the wheel of his No. 43 car.
Team principal and driver Peter Cunningham was unavailable to test with other Acura-related commitments.
Still, Cunningham told Sportscar365 it was a good test as the team prepares for what will only be the second full season racing the TLX-GT; it spent the majority of 2014 doing testing and development work prior to a Mid-Ohio debut.
“I can confirm we did our first two-wheel drive test at Road America,” Cunningham told Sportscar365.
“Unfortunately I was at Palm Springs for NSXPO (NSX owners’ convention, for the 25th anniversary of the model), so I did not attend.
“It was a very productive day. They learned a lot.”
The TLX-GT’s switch to two-wheel drive comes in a planned one-year extension for the car’s program, which was originally slated for two years from 2014 to 2015.
World Challenge was due to limit homologation solely to FIA GT3-spec cars in its GT ranks, but without Acura having a GT3-spec model available until 2017 at the earliest, the switch comes on board for 2016.
“We understand why the series didn’t want us to have four-wheel drive in 2016,” Cunningham explained.
“The car was originally homologated in a two-year deal for ’14 and ’15, and we thought next car would be available by then. That’s not the case.
“We needed to be able to keep the TLX going in 2016, or just sit out the 2016 season.
“Short of having full GT3 homologation for the TLX, by mandating we run in two-wheel drive configuration, it will be a lot closer to the other cars in 2016.”
Eversley finished sixth and Cunningham 12th in this past year’s standings, with Eversley scoring a pole and win at St. Petersburg in March. Cunningham’s sixth place at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca season finale stood as his best finish.
It’s been a whirlwind month for Cunningham, having been to Japan and sharing memories about the NSX with other NSX owners, and visiting several tracks (Suzuka, Motegi and Fuji among others).
He then headed to Palm Springs to shake down the new 2017 NSX street car, providing ride-alongs for raffle winners at The Thermal Club.
The new 2017 Acura NSX street car was formally presented today at the Tokyo Auto Show.
No word has been provided from Acura or RealTime Racing on a timeline for a racing version of the NSX, long rumored but never formally confirmed.
“It won’t be a race car for a long time,” Cunningham said.