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RealTime Set to Miss COTA; Still Working on 2020 Options

World Challenge stalwart exploring GT3, TCR opportunities for possible mid-season return…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO

RealTime Racing will not be on the grid for next weekend’s SRO America season-opener at Circuit of The Americas, as the longtime World Challenge entrant continues to work on possible programs for GT3 or TCR competition.

The Wisconsin-based squad has been put in a similar situation to 12 months ago with unconfirmed plans heading into March, although team owner Peter Cunningham told Sportscar365 that a 2020 program “could take a little longer” to assemble than its championship-winning effort from last year.

Despite missing the first event, RealTime ended up winning the GT3 Pro-Am teams’ title in 2019, while also collecting its 100th victory as a team, with Dane Cameron and Mike Hedlund at the wheel of its Acura NSX GT3 Evo at Road America.

While confirming plans to return to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, as well as continuing to restore a number of vintage and historic Acura and Honda race cars, Cunningham said the team hasn’t given up hope on a potential SRO America program that could come alive later this year.

“We’re in a similar spot to last year where this point before the start of the season we don’t have a GT3 program set in stone. That changed last year but we’re not sure what’s going to happen this year,” he told Sportscar365.

“But we’re still plugging along. We’ll have other activities that we’ll be doing.

“In the meantime we’re poised to implement a customer program in TCR or GT3 or a soap box derby effort! But to date, in a challenging time, that just hasn’t come together.”

Cunningham explained that a continuation of the GT3 Pro-Am program with Hedlund, who replaced Bret Curtis mid-season, was not possible this year for budget reasons.

“I think Mike Hedlund is an ace and a great person,” Cunningham said. “But he didn’t have all of the funding he needed to continue.

“Racing in any series is expensive. To have all of the assets to implement a program is difficult to put together.

“We certainly have all of the infrastructure and know-how to do it but we don’t have all of the financial aspects in place to be able to move forward at this time.”

While currently not having an Acura or Honda Civic Type-R TCR car in its possession, Cunningham said they would have access to cars if programs are able to be confirmed in the coming weeks or months.

Despite being a longtime SRO America entrant, the team hasn’t ruled out an effort in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, either.

“With few exceptions RealTime has only competed on the World Challenge side but we’ve always looked at the IMSA side as well,” Cunningham said.

“Certainly I’ve got a lot of experience in IMSA in various series over the years. We would not be against something like that either.

“We were in World Challenge for 27 consecutive years and certainly have racked up more poles, race wins and championships than any other team. We’ve been competing with Hondas and Acuras since 1987 and have enjoyed all of that time.

“We hope to enjoy it in the years to come.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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