NSX GT3 takes best European finish
The Honda NSX GT3 claimed its first top-six finish in Europe with a strong performance in ADAC GT Masters at the Nurburgring, Germany.
Having qualified a season’s-best 12th – just 0.3 seconds away from pole position in the ultra-competitive field – Christopher Dreyspring kept his Honda Team Schubert Motorsport entry in contention for a strong finish during the first half of his race.
Crucially, he was able to show excellent pace on a clear track by leaving his mandatory pitstop until the last possible moment and saw co-driver Giorgio Maggi emerge in ninth place.
Maggi was able to make further progress during the final 25 minutes to climb to sixth – a result that also made the pair the top-finishing all-junior line-up.
They were the third-best all-junior pairing on Sunday. Having started 31st, Maggi and Dreyspring advanced to 23rd overall by the chequered flag.
Katherine Legge remains second in the IMSA WetherTech Sports Car Championship’s GTD division, despite a bruising race at Road America.
The Briton pitted from fifth place on the 45-minute mark as the Meyer Shank Racing team sensed an opportunity to use a full-course caution period to take their mandatory driver change and swap Alvaro Parente into the car.
Unfortunately, several further safety cars proved extremely badly-timed for the NSX GT3 drivers and meant that the advantage Legge and Parente had fought to hard to create for themselves, vanished. They finished seventh; their car compromised by damaged picked early on.
The sister car of Justin Marks and Lawson Aschenbach fought back strongly from a penalty issued at the one-hour mark for contact with a prototype. Aschenbach crossed the line eighth, right on Parente’s tail.
Super GT staged its annual 500-mile race at Fuji. Carguy Racing’s Naoki Yokomizo and Takeshi Kimura qualified 14th and made solid progress during the early stages before being hit with a penalty for pitlane speeding.
After dropping to 22nd, the pair regained much of the lost ground and finished 17th in the GT300 class.
Modulo Drago Corse did not start the race after a heavy accident in practice. A GT500 machine, which suffered a brake problem on the main straight at 300kph, hit Ryo at the first corner just as he was beginning a sighting lap.
Thanks to the strength of the NSX GT3, Ryo was not seriously hurt, but the damage was extensive enough to keep he and Hiroki Otsu out of action for the rest of the weekend.
All the cars were competing as part of the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Programme; a global collaborative project with JAS Motorsport responsible for assembly of all cars.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) and M-TEC handle sales and technical support in North America and Japan respectively, with JAS responsible for these areas across the rest of the world.
Stefano Fini, JAS Motorsport NSX GT3 Project Leader, said: “I’m extremely pleased with the results achieved by Schubert Motorsport in ADAC GT Masters this weekend. After the NSX GT3 won races in North America and scored podiums in Asia, a strong result in Germany was a big target. Despite Christopher and Giorgio being the least-experienced line-up in the championship, they’ve proved not only their speed but also that of the car in an extremely high-level series. The Meyer Shank Racing team were extremely unfortunate with the timings of some caution periods at Road America while in Super GT we can all be thankful for the safety features of the car that has prevented a serious injury to Ryo Michigami at Fuji.”
Main: Christopher Dreyspring/Giorgio Maggi, Honda Team Schubert Motorsport, Honda NSX GT3, ADAC GT Masters, Nurburgring, Germany; Lower: (Row 1 L) Katherine Legge/Alvaro Parente, Meyer Shank Racing, Acura NSX GT3, IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, Road America, USA; (R) Justin Marks/Lawson Aschenbach, Meyer Shank Racing, Acura NSX GT3, IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, Road America, USA; (Row 2 L) Takeshi Kimura/Naoki Yokomizo, CarGuy Racing, Honda NSX GT3, Super GT, Fuji, Japan; (R) Ryo Michigami/Hiroki Otsu, Modulo Drago Corse, Honda NSX GT3, Super GT, Fuji, Japan;
About JAS Motorsport
Founded in 1995, JAS Motorsport is one of the world's leading touring car teams and constructors. Initially fielding Alfa Romeos in the ITC, JAS became a technical partner of Honda in 1998 and has been at the forefront of its activities with touring cars and rallying ever since. In 2012, JAS was chosen to develop, in partnership with Honda R&D, the Civic WTCC, with which it claimed the Manufacturers' world title a year later. JAS designed and built the Civic Type R TCR, which claimed 12 major titles in 2016 and '17 and is now responsible for the build of both the all-new Civic TCR and the NSX GT3 supercar.