November 12, 2003 ? Saukville, Wis.
RealTime Racing?s championship-winning Acura NSX, perhaps the most successful single chassis in the history of SCCA Pro Racing?s SPEED World Challenge GT series, has been retired to American Honda?s company museum, team owner Peter Cunningham announced.
?I look at this as sending a healthy and winning race horse out to pasture to enjoy the rest of its life,? Cunningham said, ?That car certainly taught us a lot over the years, and rewarded our work by a remarkable percentage. It certainly was one of the most exciting and challenging programs our team ever undertook, because the competition in GT comes from so many different high-horsepower super cars. Corvette, Viper, Porsche, Ferrari, Audi Quattro and Saleen; we proved over the years that the NSX could beat the best!?
?Our NSX was built by Honda in Japan in 1990 as a pre-production model,? Cunningham said. ?We started its development in the fall of that year in hopes of campaigning it in the World Challenge the following year. A number of factors prevented us from competing full time until the 1996 season, but it was worth the wait.?
Cunningham and RealTime Racing debuted the car May 4, 1991 in the World Challenge race at Sears Point Raceway near San Francisco. Its 50h and final start came Nov. 27, 2002 at VIRginia International Raceway.
Acura NSX chassis #0003 won 14 races, finished on the podium 26 times, and helped Cunningham win the 1997 SCCA World Challenge GT Driver?s Championship.
?The right rear fender is the only original bolt-on part left on it,? Cunningham admitted, ?but considering the way people legitimize historic race cars, 50 races over five full seasons on the same chassis may be a record of some sorts. At the very least, it may have the oldest right rear fender in World Challenge series history.?
Following the car?s ?testing the waters? 1991 debut, where it started second and finished third, it was returned to American Honda where it sat until the 1996 season.
?We raced it in the World Challenge in 1996-97-98, winning eight races, then put it back in mothballs at Honda. With the resurgence of the GT class in 2001, we brought it out again, this time with a Vortech-supercharged 3.2 liter engine,? he said. ?It won another five races in 2001, and a final win in 2002, to put me second in the Driver?s Championship points both years?not bad for a 10 or 11 year-old car!?
?The NSX won at ultra-fast tracks like Road Atlanta and Sebring, and on tight street circuits like Detroit and Trois-Rivières. You can?t ask for more versatility than that,? he said.
Here are a few photos from last year's victory at Road Atlanta