Weather: Cloudy, rain, 52 degrees F
Ryan Eversley Earns Top-Five Result For Acura TLX GT Team in Austin
- All-Wheel Drive Acura storms from 25th on the grid to finish fifth on Sunday
- Eversley earns Optima Batteries Best Start Award in both races
- Contact ends weekend early for Peter Cunningham’s Acura TLX GT
Racers regard rain as the great equalizer, but many of the drivers that make up the Pirelli World Challenge field may tend to disagree after the second round of the 2015 season.
Day-long rains soaked the 3.4-mile Circuit of the Americas track for Sunday’s event and Ryan Eversley took full advantage, using the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive of the RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT to make up a remarkable 20 spots over only 18 laps, on his way to a fifth-place finish.
For the second consecutive day, Eversley earned the Optima Batteries Best Start Award, gaining eight positions on his first trip around the 20-turn road course. He snared four more positions on the next lap before a caution flag slowed his progress. Eversley wasted no time once the green flag flew again on Lap 7, outdragging an Audi R8 and Ferrari 458 off the final turn and down the front stretch to move into the top 10.
The first-year World Challenge driver continued his march, needing just three more laps to move into sixth. He then recovered from a quick spin to pass Madison Snow’s Audi R8 with three laps to go to claim the fifth position, where he would remain until the checkered flag. Eversley not only earned the Optima Batteries contingency award for his lightning start, but also won the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award for his efforts throughout the race.
“We had the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive Acura TLX GT really hooked up. It was really working well in the corners,” Eversley said. “Our corner exits were so much better because of the handling, we were able to get great runs and pick guys off.”
The run highlighted what, until then, had been a tough weekend for the Acura TLX GT squad, as both cars retired in Saturday’s season opener after contact resulted in suspension failures. RealTime owner/driver Peter Cunningham’s #42 Acura TLX GT was hit after seven laps of Saturday’s race, inflicting enough damage to keep the car out of Sunday’s event. Eversley’s #43 machine made just four more trips around the Texas circuit before his suspension succumbed to in-race contact.
Eversley’s car ended up in 34th place, followed by Cunningham’s machine in 35th. Eversley’s contact negated a promising start that had seen him gain 11 positions on the opening lap.
The series will resume in two weeks when the Pirelli World Challenge runs a doubleheader weekend as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series event on the street course in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Developed from the production Acura TLX by HPD and RealTime Racing, the Acura TLX GT features HPD chassis and aerodynamic performance parts approved for Pirelli World Challenge competition. It is powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developed by HPD from the production TLX, and will utilize all-wheel drive, as found in Acura’s SH-AWD system.
Video News Releases from this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge events at Circuit of the Americas are being posted on a specially created “Honda Racing/HPD Trackside” YouTube channel produced by the Carolinas Production Group. CPG will be providing video highlights packages following Honda Racing/HPD events during 2015. The video packages can be found at https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
|Top 6 Race Results:|
|1.||GT||Kevin Estre||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650S GT3||18 Laps|
|2.||GT||Ryan Dalziel||EFFORT Racing||Porsche 911 GT3R||-30.344 seconds|
|3.||GT||Nicky Catsburg||LG Motorsports||Lamborghini Gallardo||-34.773|
|4.||GT||Mike Skeen||CRP Racing||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||-35.122|
|5.||GT||Ryan Eversley||RealTime Racing||Acura TLX GT||-42.414|
|6.||GT||Madison Snow||GMG||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||-47.456|
Ryan Eversley (driver, #43 RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT, started 25th, finished fifth in Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge race): “That was probably the most fun I have ever had in a race car! I was just grinning through my helmet the whole race, because we were able to run right with all the big guns of the series.”
Peter Cunningham (owner/driver, #42 RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT): “The team did a great job, not just over this weekend, but for the last 19 months getting prepared to field two Acura TLX GT race cars. To get a fifth-place finish this weekend is incredible and it really feels like a win for us. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but our guys are ready to get it done and we’re really looking forward to St. Pete in two weeks.”
Lee Niffenegger (Team Leader, Acura Motorsports): “I couldn’t be any happier, this finish is more than we could have expected coming into the weekend. With the All-Wheel Drive and the rain, we knew that we had a chance to do pretty well here. Ryan won here (in a Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race) by a large margin in the wet conditions last year, and we knew he would give us a good run. The HPD and RealTime teams worked really hard and did a great job. After both cars suffered contact in Saturday’s race, we knew we could only fix one of them overnight, and we worked hard to put a quality race car on the track. Ryan did a great job with it.”