Ryan Eversley is hoping that the rare opportunity of having four Acura NSX GT3 cars entered across two series this weekend in Long Beach will pay dividends, as both team and driver look to make further inroads with the new-for-2017 GT3 contender.
Both Eversley’s Pirelli World Challenge squad, RealTime Racing, and fellow Acura squad Michael Shank Racing have worked closely in tandem throughout pre-season testing, and continue their strong alliance, despite being in two very different championships.
“It’s cool, because literally right now my engineer is down at the Mike Shank team talking about shock settings that they’re going to both try to put on the cars for tomorrow,” Eversley told Sportscar365 Thursday at Long Beach.
“Normally you wouldn’t have that option because they wouldn’t normally be running at the same time, let alone at the same track. Pretty cool to have that.”
The MSR team impressed in the rain in the car’s competition debut at Daytona and fought through a challenging Sebring weekend, finishing 8th and 14th in class at Sebring.
Eversley and the Wisconsin-based RealTime Racing team, meanwhile, overcame a practice crash in the opening PWC weekend for the NSX GT3 at St. Pete last month, to fight back for a top-10 finish in Race 2.
It came, thanks in no small part to a delivery of spare parts from MSR, with RealTime teammate Peter Kox finishing 8th in the opening round.
After operating in separate spheres for the last several months, Eversley was excited about the joint test the two factory-supported squads conducted on Tuesday at Buttonwillow, which allowed them to work together in concert in preparation for a similar attack at Long Beach.
“Everybody is pulling in the same direction,” said Eversley. “In our test on Tuesday, we had Jeff Segal and Tom Dyer come in as well as the Michael Shank Racing engineers, and we basically used the No. 93 to help cross over some setup ideas we wanted to try.
“It was neat to have those guys integrate with our team for the weekend. Peter Kox couldn’t be here for that test, so the car was available. That was really neat.
“We basically put the Mike Shank setup on one car and the RealTime setup on the other car and then we swapped.
“It was one of those thing where you don’t normally get the chance to do that because you might not have another team that you’re working with.”
Eversley said that the teams benefit from the fact that the car is essentially the same in both series with only select differences, meaning that a discovery made in PWC would likely be applicable for the MSR team as well.
“I think it’s pretty similar in a lot of ways,” he said. “The funny thing was Jeff drove my car and hated it and I drove his car and hated it, and we were both pretty fast in each car!
“But we were able to see a lot of similarities between the two programs. [The car is] literally identical other than BoP and the tire when we’re actually racing, which is nice.
“There’s no, well this car has a different spec wing, or something like that.”
Eversley said the strong camaraderie between all of the drivers in Acura’s stable has been productive for the manufacturer which is gradually building up a collection of data that will be available for customer entries as early as next season
“We have this huge, email, data-share thing going back in forth,” he said.
“We’re building that information database up right now so at the end of the year, you can buy your NSX and if you have any problem whatsoever, we’ll have all this data and information available from seven really good drivers and me.
“Then you can have something to look at.”
With Eversley, Kox and their MSR counterparts all racing in the backyard of Santa Clarita, Calif.-based Honda Performance Development, there’s extra pressure to perform this weekend.
“First and foremost, this is our backyard for HPD and Honda, Acura corporate,” Eversley said. “The heart of Honda America is in Ohio so a lot of people come out to [the race at Mid-Ohio], but this is a big weekend.
“The top executives will be watching, so not only is there pressure already because we want to do well but then your boss of the boss of the boss is watching and asking questions, so there’s a lot of that pressure, but it’s all constructive pressure.”