The Acura NSX GT3 will make its public on-track debut in this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge round at Mid-Ohio, in testing and practice sessions only, in anticipation of a planned race debut in 2017.
Newly named Acura GT3 development driver Peter Kox, as revealed by Sportscar365, will handle driving duties of the car on Thursday at Friday in the sessions.
“Based on a very successful test program, we’re taking the next logical step in seeing how we stack-up against the competition,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development.
“Mid-Ohio seemed like the perfect opportunity, given the demands it places on a racecar and its proximity to NSX R&D and manufacturing.”
Kox has been contracted by RealTime Racing and the car will reside under RealTime’s tent this weekend, but St. Cyr would not confirm the team or teams that will run the GT3 contender next year.
He said news on the 2017 program, including where the car will race in North America, is expected to come shortly.
The car, designed in Japan and initially built and developed by JAS Motorsport in Italy, is now being spearheaded by HPD, in anticipation of a North America-only race program for next year.
It will undergo the FIA’s Balance of Performance testing at Ladoux in September, and St. Cyr said they are discussing with sanctioning bodies on the potential of the car being eligible to race at the end of this year, should they decide to go that route.
Typically, non-homologated cars would not be eligible to compete in either Pirelli World Challenge or the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but exceptions have been made in the past.
“I don’t want to say we’re not going to race it, but I’m not going to say we are going to race it [in 2016] at this point,” St. Cyr told Sportscar365.
Both RealTime and Michael Shank Racing have been tipped as favorites to run the cars next year, in PWC and the WeatherTech Championship, respectively, with a number of high-profile drivers already linked to the factory backed program as well.