New Acura NSX to Race in Joint GT Series?


American Le Mans Series and Rolex Grand-Am are merging into a united GT racing series in the United States, and a racing version of the new NSX could be one of the first competitors to line up on the grid.

The history of the NSX is based as much in motor racing as it is in showrooms and city streets. The original competed at Le Mans, in Japan's own Super GT series and in several others. Honda was preparing to replace the old mid-engined NSX with a new front-engined one, but when economic conditions conspired to abort the program, it was shifted to Super GT. Now with the new NSX racing towards the marketplace, Honda Performance Development - the division of the Japanese automaker that manages most of its racing programs - is indicating that a competition version is in the works.

So where should we expect to see a racing-spec NSX dicing it up with other motorsport machinery? Honda hasn't been too specific, except to say that it will be in some form of GT racing. A related development could shed some light on the prospect, though. GT racing, you see, is split between different series around the world. In America, that comes down primarily to the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am , two racing leagues - one affiliated with France's ACO and the other with NASCAR - that field similar types of racing cars in similar types of races. The two have just announced a merger that will unite GT racing in the United States.

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Several questions remain unanswered at this point, including what name the new series will take and what types of cars it will run. Both will surely include GT racers like the new NSX, Porsche 911 and Ferrari 458, but each of the series has its own types of top-tier racers. Grand-Am runs Daytona Prototypes while ALMS uses Le Mans Prototypes (in the LMP1 and LMP2 classes). Just which makes the cut-off in the merger remains to be seen. Of course the NSX isn't likely to be confined to American GT racing, so look for it to compete in series like Super GT, the FIA GT1 World Championship and the Blancpain Endurance Series as well.

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