Acura NSX GT3 Nabs First Win in Detroit
Michael Shank Racing and Acura NSX win big at IMSA Belle Isle race.
Andy Lally and Katherine Legge captured the Acura NSX GT3’s first race win this weekend at Detroit’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic. Driving for Michael Shank racing, Lally and Legge took home first place in the GTD class of IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. That makes Acura’s first IMSA win for the new-for-2017 NSX.
The weekend’s success began with Legge placing the #93 NSX second in the class during a dogfight of a qualifying session. The former IndyCar and DeltaWing racer clocked the NSX’s best qualifying position to date. While polesitter Lawson Aschenbach slipped past a car from another class to pull out a lead, a full-course caution neutralized the lead.
In the only pit stops of the 100-minute race, the Michael Shank Racing crew nailed the driver change. The team leapfrogged the class leader by taking only two tires. That allowed Lally to restart from the class lead. He held off a late-race charge from Alessandro Balzan in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 to claim the victory.
The team’s second car, the #86 driven by Oz Negri and Jeff Segal, started from last on the grid after a practice incident forced them to miss qualifying. Negri passed several cars and turned it over to Segal from 12th place.
Some handy pit work and foregoing tires sent Segal out in an astonishing 6th. The #86’s pit stop was the fastest of any team in the whole race at 44.5 seconds. From there, he worked up to 3rd in class. However, a slight contact pushed Segal back to 5th, where he’d finish.
The Acura NSX GT3 uses a version of the same production-NSX twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 mated to a six-speed sequential racing gearbox. However, GT3 regulations prohibit all-wheel-drive, so the NSX races as a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive grand tourer.