Acura NSX Sets Production Car Record at Long Beach Grand Prix Circuit
Acura NSX is the first, and possibly only car to ever hold the production car record around the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit.
Any car manufacturer can set a lap record at the Nurburgring, but only Acura can set a record at the Acura Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. At least, that was the thought behind this all-new production car record.
With Acura taking over the reigns from Toyota as the title sponsor of the Long Beach Grand Prix, the brand has high expectations, for themselves, and for the event. While we were at the Grand Prix, we were fortunate enough to speak with the Acura team about the Grand Prix, and what it means for Acura to hold the coveted title sponsor slot.
Acura spokesperson, Andrew Quillin, stated that, while it took quite a lot of work to get this inaugural Long Beach event to get going under their leadership (their official announcement of title sponsorship came just two months before the race), it’s proving to be fruitful for the brand. It also makes a lot of sense to have the Acura nameplate associated with the Long Beach Grand Prix, after all, American Honda HQ is just down the street, in Torrance.
However, more than just being the title sponsor, Acura really wants to leave their mark on the Grand Prix, which has taken place since 1975, and one way to do that is with by setting a record. Quillin further elaborated, noting that no one had ever attempted a production car lap record around the famed street circuit. Naturally, the NSX super car, which also served as the official pace car for the event, was the perfect fit to accomplish this.
Famed racer Peter Cunningham, of RealTime Racing fame, was brought in to drive the NSX. We were also able to speak with Cunningham ahead of the feat and he had few concerns about the record. After all, it’s hard to not be the number one finisher in a race with one car. However, Cunningham did check the NSX out thoroughly, and set cold tire pressures on the optional Pirelli Trofeo R summer tires before setting off.
The end result is a 1:35.663, which, for perspective, would put it mid-pack with the likes of the Historic IMSA GTO cars running this past weekend. Respectable for a stock supercar. We look forward to seeing what Acura continues to do with the Long Beach Grand Prix, in 2020 and beyond.