GT3 / 20 March 2023
NSX GT3 Evo 22 scores 12 Hours of Sebring pole position
The NSX GT3 Evo 22 secured another major result last weekend with pole position for one of the world's most historic sportscar races - the 12 Hours of Sebring.
There was also a first appearance for the JAS Motorsport-built car in Japan's ultra-popular Super Taikyu series on what was a weekend of firsts for the multiple championship-winning machine.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
It was Kyle Marcelli who scored his and Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Andretti Autosport's first pole with the car in IMSA with a sensational qualifying lap on Thursday.
The Canadian led the class for most of the opening 90 minutes with the position of the car altering within the upper and lower ranks of the top 10 as Ashton Harrison and Danny Formal took their turns behind the wheel.
Contact for Harrison on a congested restart in the seventh hour caused significant damage to the front end of the car and put it out of the race.
Sheena Monk qualified Gradient Racing's NSX 18th but was one of the quickest of the bronze drivers to take part in the session as the Texas squad opted for an alternative race strategy reminiscent of the one that brought them Petit Le Mans victory last year.
Sadly contact from a GTP car while being lapped in the third hour caused damage to the NSX, limiting the laptimes achievable by Marc Miller, Katherine Legge and Monk for the rest of the race and necessitating an extra pitstop to fix damaged lights.
That cost three laps and restricted the car to 12th by the chequered flag. They are seventh in the points table.
Three years after the global pandemic halted the team's plans of entering an NSX GT3 in the Japanese endurance series, KCMG finally debuted their car - an Evo 22 example - at Suzuka over the weekend.
Team founder Paul Ip and regular driver Marchy Lee were joined by China's Ho-Pin Tung for the event and qualified sixth in the fastest STX class; Ip and Lee running consistently through the early and middle parts of the races.
Tung took over for the final portion in fifth spot and looked set to mount a podium challenge, such was his pace relative to the cars he was chasing.
Unfortunately, a major incident triggered a red flag with 40 minutes of the five-hour race to go. With series officials deciding not to restart the race, a fifth-place finish was confirmed for the trio.
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.