Acura Motorsports and Michael Shank Racing faced the toughest test in North American sports car racing – the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – and succeeded in bringing both of the team's Acura NSX GT3's to the finish in Saturday's 65th running of the endurance classic.
After 12 hours of incredibly hard racing around the bumpy, demanding 3.7-mile Sebring circuit, built on the grounds of a former World War II Air Force training base, the MSR Acura effort was led to the checkers by the #86 entry of Tom Dyer, Oswaldo "Ozz" Negri Jr. and Jeff Segal, who finished eighth in the GTD class after stretching the fuel mileage of their NSX GT3 to the maximum in the closing hours.
The sister #93 NSX GT3 driven by Andy Lally, Katherine Legge and Mark Wilkins ran as high as second in the opening hour, and was fourth in class after four hours. But shortly after the five-hour mark, Legge was forced to bring the car to the pits with a suspension issue, ultimately requiring replacement of the left-front damper [shock absorber] and costing the team eight laps while repairs were completed. Back on track, the trio continued to lap competitively to the finish, but was unable to make up the earlier lost laps and finished 14th in GTD.
Competing in the GTD class of the sports car racing championship, the NSX GT3s race against premium automotive brands including Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
Developed from the production Acura NSX, the NSX GT3 utilizes the production NSX's ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with aluminum-intensive space frame, which is produced at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio, exclusive worldwide manufacturing facility for the NSX. The 3.5-liter racing engine uses the same design specifications as the production Acura NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. A six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels.
The Acura NSX GT3 adds to a rich legacy of Acura sports car racing championships, including the 1991, 1992 and 1993 IMSA Camel Lights manufacturer and driver championships, and the 2009 American Le Mans Series manufacturer, driver and team championships in both the LMP1 and LMP2 classes.