GT3 / 23 July 2018
NSX GT3 on podium in Blancpain Asia
The NSX GT3 claimed its best finish to date in the Blancpain Asia GT Series with a superb run to second place in GT3 Am on home soil at Fuji Speedway on Sunday.
Arrows Racing's Shinji Takei had qualified second in class and he and co-driver Philip Ma then produced an ultra-strong performance in the second of two 60-minute races at the former Japanese Grand Prix venue to score the landmark result.
The pair finished fourth in class the previous day with Takei – driving the NSX GT3 for the first time - recovering from a mid-race issue. He set the fastest lap in the class in both race.
The result added to the debut podium scored by the car at the season-opening race at Sepang, Malaysia. Takei and Ma hold third and fourth places in the GT3 Am Championship, despite Arrows having skipped the past two races.
Katherine Legge and Meyer Shank Racing maintained their push for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship with a hard-fought fourth-place finish at Lime Rock Park, USA.
In a race where the entire field was covered by one second in qualifying, Legge started her NSX GT3 from ninth, but produced a strong opening stint to climb to seventh by the first pitstops.
Handing over driving duties to Alvaro Parente at the 50-minute mark, Legge watched her team's superb strategy pay off as the Portuguese moved up the order.
While battling for third, Parente was unfortunate to be caught at the wrong place at the wrong time as the outright race leader went off the road and rejoined right in front of him, costing the driver valuable momentum and dropping him off his rival's tail.
Legge is 10 points off the championship lead with Parente - who missed the victorious Detroit race due to a clashing commitment - in fifth place. Their #93 MSR car is second in the Teams' title race while Acura are second in the Manufacturers' points.
The sister car of Lawson Aschenbach and Justin Marks, was an unfortunate early retiree. Having started seventh, Aschenbach was pushed off the circuit by a rival driver on the back straight on lap two.
Losing control on the grass, he was unable to brake in time for the following corner and made contact with his assailant, damaging the front-left corner of his car beyond repair.
Aschenbach was judged blameless in the incident by race officials, who penalised the other involved car. He and Marks are eighth in the GTD points table while their #93 car is seventh in the Teams'standings.
Both 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 so pleased for Arrows Racing. Philip Ma was the first customer of JAS Motorsport in Asia in 2002 so it's extremely fitting that he should be one of the drivers to take this excellent second place finish in the Blancpain GT Series Asia. Lime Rock was a tough event for the Meyer Shank Racing team and you never like to see a car lost right at the start of an endurance race. But Katherine is still right in the title fight with four races to go, and I’m sure they'll continue to be extremely strong in the remaining races."