Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Honda
2.258-mile road course – Lexington, Ohio
Weather: Warm, clouds, 81 degrees F
Acura’s Ryan Eversley Finishes Second, Fifth in Weekend Events at Mid-Ohio
- RealTime Racing earns three top 10s and podium finish
- Ryan Eversley makes up six spots on Sunday to earn Best Start Award
- Teammate Spencer Pumpelly earns Move of the Race and fastest race lap on Sunday
- Results propel Eversley into top five in the championship
The RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT squad knew it had a chance to inspire thousands of Honda associates this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and they did so in fine fashion, capping a pair of top-five finishes with a second-place run in Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge GT race.
Ryan Eversley vaulted from eighth to second on the opening lap of Sunday’s event and chased Michael Cooper’s Cadillac to the finish to score his third podium result in the last four races. Meanwhile, new Acura driver Spencer Pumpelly rebounded from a tough debut on Saturday to earn a solid eighth-place run in his first weekend in the Acura TLX GT.
“My spotter did a great job of helping me on the start,” Eversley recalled, “and I got a run on Michael Lewis and he gave me a lane, so I went soft on the brakes into Turn Four and tried to keep [Alvaro] Parente outside of me,” Eversley recalled. “My Acura TLX helped me get away from him going into Thunder Valley, and we were able to get a gap. You have to take advantages that you get and I am very happy that we were able to do that today.”
Eversley made a similar move on Saturday, climbing from 11th to seventh on the opening lap. He avoided much of the carnage taking place ahead of him and brought the car home fifth. Pumpelly, unfortunately, was part of the contact that happened in the pack and retired after two laps, negating a strong eighth-place starting spot.
“We had a good race car this weekend and while we didn’t get to do much Saturday, I think we proved what the Acura is capable of today,” Pumpelly said. “It took a little longer than I wanted to pick my way through the pack on Sunday, but when we got in clean air, we were fast. The team did a great job and I can’t wait to get back to work next week in Utah.”
The weekend marked the best performance at Mid-Ohio for the Acura TLX GT program in World Challenge competition and came on a weekend where thousands of Honda associates came out to the Lexington track to see their cars run at the front of the grid.
“When I was running in second, all I was thinking was that the Honda and Acura people in the stands were saying, ‘That’s our car up front,'” Eversley grinned. “It really made me bear down harder and push so that they would be proud of what they build every day.”
“This was another strong weekend for the team and it was great to do it at our home track,” said Senior Program Engineer/Honda Performance Development, Lee Niffenegger. “This weekend really showed the versatility of the Acura TLX and we are really happy to get a second- and fifth-place finish. Ryan was able to take advantage of what other guys were doing and really worked hard. Spencer did a great job, showed a lot of speed and put up a great result. We are very happy with how things went.”
In addition, the Mid-Ohio weekend featured the first on-track excursion for the new Acura NSX GT3 car. The car was slated to run alongside the GT cars of the Pirelli World Challenge during Thursday’s promoter test day and in Friday’s free practice, but heavy rains cancelled Friday’s scheduled session. The car performed well in its track time on Thursday and built excitement for potential future appearances by the NSX GT3.
“We’ve been planning on the NSX GT3 car for a really long time,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “The fact that we are actually at this point is very exciting for us. We are still trying to figure out our longer-term plans, and are evaluating the different series in which it is legal to run the car.”
Developed from the production Acura TLX by HPD and RealTime Racing, the Acura TLX GT features HPD chassis and aerodynamic performance parts approved for Pirelli World Challenge competition. It is powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developed by HPD from the production Acura TLX.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Acura Pirelli World Challenge racing activities at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2016 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at:
|GT Race Results Round 14:|
|1||Alvaro Parente||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650S||30 Laps|
|2||Austin Cindric||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650S||+ 1.009 sec.|
|3||Bryan Heitkotter||AE Replay XD||Nissan GTR||+ 4.529 sec.|
|5||Ryan Eversley||RealTime Racing||Acura TLX GT||+ 8.107 sec.|
|19||Spencer Pumpelly||RealTime Racing||Acura TLX GT||+ 24.557 sec|
|GT Race Results Round 15:|
|1||Michael Cooper||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS-V.R.||38 Laps|
|2||Ryan Eversley||RealTime Racing||Acura TLX GT||+1.597 sec|
|3||Johnny O’Connell||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS-V.R.||+ 7.609 sec.|
|4||Bryan Heitkotter||AE Replay XD||Nissan GTR||+ 10.101 sec|
|8||Spencer Pumpelly||RealTime Racing||Acura TLX GT||+ 24.105 sec|
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