GT3 / 05 July 2021
Mugello podium for JAS Development Driver Zanotti and NSX GT3 Evo
JAS Motorsport Development Driver Erwin Zanotti starred on a weekend when the NSX GT3 Evo showed strong pace on two continents and secured a podium finish.
Italian GT Championship
Zanotti, already a class winner with Nova Race in the Italian GT Sprint Trophy, made his debut in the Endurance Trophy race at Mugello on Sunday on what is scheduled as a one-off appearance with co-driver Luca Magnoni.
The duo spent the early part of the weekend getting dialled into the twisty, undulating Tuscan circuit, holding solidly in third place in the Am class throughout practice and qualifying.
Switching to attack mode for Sunday's three-hour race, the pair made superb progress to come through to second in Am and 10th place overall in a field made up predominantly of all-professional line-ups.
Zanotti's season continues when the Sprint Trophy resumes at Imola in September.
IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar Championship
Gradient Racing were again on strong form as they returned to the series for the latest event of 2021 that counted towards the IMSA Sprint Cup.
Till Bechtolsheimer was a career-best fourth in a wet qualifying session, though he and co-driver Marc Miller were each required to dig deep to finish sixth in a race that was red-flagged for nearly an hour due to nearby lightning.
Fellow NSX GT3 Evo customer team Compass Racing saw Jeff Kingsley set an identical qualifying time to Bechtolsheimer to the nearest thousandth of a second.
He and co-driver Mario Farnbacher - the 2019 and '20 IMSA GTD Champion - were sitting fifth when a brake line was severed - almost certainly as a result of running over on-track debris.
The resultant stop for repairs cost the car three laps, dropped it to ninth and denied it any chance of a significant result.
Acura hold fifth in the Sprint Cup Manufacturers’ rankings while Gradient and Compass are fifth and seventh in the Teams’ standings. Miller/Bechtolsheimer are the highest-placed duo in the Drivers’ Championship in ninth.
All three 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.