The NSX made its race debut in North America towards the end of 2016, sporting the badge of Honda subsidiary Acura. Last year, in its first full season, the supercar registered several victories. This year, the Japanese manufacturer is extending its customer sports programme to racetracks around the world. The two Honda NSX GT3s about to contest the ADAC GT Masters are the first of their kind to be earmarked for Europe. “The NSX GT3 has been designed to race at the highest level,” says Alessandro Mariani of JAS Motorsport, the Honda development partner which helped on the design work for both the GT3 model and the successful Honda Civic TCR. “It blends state-of-the-art GT3 racing technology with a beautiful and efficient design, and it complies with the latest FIA safety requirements. We’ve seen how the car has already achieved race wins in the USA. We are now ready for action around the world.” A well-known figure from the ADAC GT Masters was also instrumental in the development of Honda NSX GT3, namely 2010 ADAC GT Masters champion Peter Kox who made his services available as test driver.
What makes the NSX GT3 project so special is that it has involved partners on three continents. The vehicle was designed by Honda R&D in Japan with the support of JAS from Italy. The chassis and engines come directly from the Honda plant in Marysville (USA) where the series production version is manufactured. The engines are then prepared for GT3 racing at Honda Performance Development (HPD), the company’s motorsport department in North America. The final assembly of the vehicles takes place at JAS in Milan.
This particular Honda has a longitudinally mounted V6 mid-engine with two turbochargers and a 3.5-litre displacement. It is based on the standard engine, adopting the same specifications for cylinder block and head, valve train, crankshaft, piston and dry sump lubrication. The power is transmitted to the rear axle via an Xtrac sequential six-speed gearbox with paddles – in contrast to the production model, which has a hybrid drive and four-wheel drive. The price per race-ready unit is 465,000 euros.
This will be the first time that Honda has had a presence on the ADAC GT Masters grid, but the manufacturer has a long tradition in the forerunner GT series organised by the ADAC. The first generation of the Honda NSX competed in the 1993 and 1994 ADAC GT Cup, scoring a total of four race wins with Armin Hahne at the wheel.