The Acura NSX GT3 will make its return to Pirelli World Challenge, with a joint HART/RealTime Racing effort confirmed for next weekend’s season-ending round at Watkins Glen International.
Mario Farnbacher will drive the mid-engined sports car in the pair of 50-minute Sprint races, marking the Acura’s first PWC outing since its two-car factory-supported RealTime effort last year.
According to NSX GT3 program manager Lee Niffenegger, the objective will be to showcase the car’s potential under SRO Motorsports Group’s Balance of Performance, with an eye to growing Acura’s North American customer base for 2019.
“Basically, we want to sell cars,” Niffenegger told Sportscar365. “We don’t have a presence in World Challenge [GT] and not really a big presence in any other SRO [run series].
“Obviously [PWC] is a missing market for us as we have four cars in IMSA.
“We want to show the car in SRO with Pirelli tires and we’re hoping to get a customer by having a good result.”
While having scored a victory in PWC competition, the 2017 season saw mixed results, due to what Niffenegger cited as challenges with the BoP, which he feels has been improved.
“Working with SRO and the FIA, I think we now have the car where it needs to be to be competitive and I think we’ve shown that in ADAC [GT Masters] but we need to show that in North America as well,” he said.
“We have a capable driver in Mario, who has already won a race in a NSX, so nobody can doubt his ability.”
Watkins Glen will see three of Acura’s teams joining forces, with support also coming from Meyer Shank Racing, according to Niffenegger, who said they received PWC’s blessing for the one-off race.
“[PWC’s] interest is the same as ours, in trying to get more cars,” he said. “They know we’re a North American-based manufacturer. They have their interests.”
The addition of the Acura boosts the GT entry to 13 cars for next weekend’s season finale.