Devout Acura racing fans will finally get a chance to see their beloved NSX GT3 race car on the track in action — though not in an actual race. It will be on the same track at the same time as Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTA and GT Cup cars during practice sessions this Thursday morning and Friday afternoon at Mid-Ohio. That will put it on the track and running against other Pirelli World Challenge GT-class cars like the McLaren 650S, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3, Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, Bentley Continental GT3 and even its own Acura sibling, the TLX-GT.
“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 race car and its proximity to NSX R&D and manufacturing.”
Development driver Peter Kox (not longtime Acura TLX driver Peter Cunningham, who will be in the TLX) will be in the driver’s seat. Unlike the two NSXs that raced at Pikes Peak this year, this car will not have the production car’s hybrid electric motors. Instead, the powertrain at Mid-Ohio will be the same one announced almost three weeks ago: a 3.5-liter twin turbo 75-degree V6 “using the same design specifications as the engine in the production 2017 NSX,” according to Acura. But without any electric assist.
The race car has already seen plenty of track time, as Acura’s Japanese race engineering team has taken it to circuits in Europe and Japan. Acura’s North American race engineering group is working on this test, as well as FIA testing and certification that will take place in Ladoux, France, in September. Exactly where the car or cars will race in 2017 has not been decided yet, though you could assume that the Pirelli World Challenge would be a likely candidate. No announcement was made regarding customer cars yet. And while there was no word on racing this year, St. Cyr didn’t rule it out, either, though with this car being the primary development car, chances are no one wants to risk smacking it up.
So if you’re waiting for a reason to take a road trip to Mid-Ohio, this could be it. The practice sessions will be Thursday, July 28 from 8:50 to 9:30 a.m. and Friday, July 29 from 4:15 to 4:45 in the afternoon. The car will then be on display at Mid-Ohio all weekend. And if you stick around you can also see the IndyCar race.