NSX GT3, Honda Touring Cars Wrap Up 2017 World Challenge Season
RealTime Racing pick up NSX’s first win in series while Tom O’Gorman caps strong TCA-class campaign with podiums.
With the final round at the 8 Hours of California, Honda and Acura teams wrapped up their 2017 Pirelli World Challenge campaign. It might not have been the year HPD-powered cars had hoped for, but the 2018 season could be brighter.
GT Class: Acura NSX GT3
In the top GT class, the factory-backed RealTime Racing squad entered a pair of brand-new Acura NSX GT3s for drivers Ryan Eversley and Peter Kox. The duo’s primary purpose was to develop the car this season in preparation for international competition next season.
After struggling through the opening four rounds, the NSXs turned a corner at Lime Rock Park in the Sprint X race for two drivers. Eversley and co-driver Tom Dyer turned in a pair of fifth-place finishes with Kox and Mark Wilkins right behind.
On-track incidents marred the team’s home race at Road America, a place where they expected solid performances. However, the team bounced back to take the NSX’s first sprint-race GT win in Kox’s hands at Utah Motorsports Campus. Eversley also took his first NSX GT3 podium in the second race of the weekend.
The two cars managed 21 finishes in the Top 10, which ultimately put Eversley and Kox 8th and 9th in the championship, respectively. Next year, customer teams will take over NSX GT3 racing worldwide, although it remains to be seen if any such teams will race in Pirelli World Challenge.
Touring Car Classes: Accord, Civic, and Fit
Hondas turned out to be outgunned in the top Touring Car class, TC. The Audi RS3 TCR and BMW M235i Cup cars’ paces rendered Shea Holbrook’s Honda Accord V6s uncompetitive. She scrapped for 17 points in the season’s opening half.
However, she switched back to the TCA-class Civic Si with which Tom O’Gorman started the year. O’Gorman of course scavenged parts from a Honda employee’s car at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. They then went on to win that weekend’s second race. Holbrook won on her return to TCA in Utah.
O’Gorman’s strong season put him third in the TCA championship as he tacked on three podiums to his win. Holbrook’s win and strong finishes put her 9th in the class title.
The new Type R-based Honda Civic is rumored to be a strong TCR entrant worldwide. It should be able to run well in PWC’s new TCR class if any teams acquire them.
In the TCB class, Jake Pipal fell just short of the driver’s championship in his Honda Fit. P.J. Groenke ended the season just two points ahead of Pipal in the closest finish of PWC’s six classes.