The Michael Shank Racing Acura duo of Andy Lally and Katherine Legge scored its second consecutive GTD class victory of the 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season Sunday at Watkins Glen International Raceway, starting from the pole and leading much of the six-hour endurance contest to take the checkers in their Acura NSX GT3.
Today’s victory on the sweeping, 2.4-mile Watkins Glen circuit – one of the fastest tracks on the IMSA schedule – follows last month’s equally emphatic victory for Acura, Lally and Legge at the Detroit Grand Prix street circuit, the tightest track on the circuit and one of only two sprint races on the schedule. Both victories serve to highlight the impressive scope of development work on the NSX GT3, which is in its first year of world-class sports car competition.
Starting from the pole, Lally built a four-second lead over the course of his opening, 50-minute stint. Although a series of caution flags in the third hour jumbled the order and several competitors adopted alternative pit strategies, the Lally/Legge Acura never dropped below fifth place, and a triple stint from Legge moved her #93 NSX GT3 to second place behind teammate Ozz Negri in the #86 Acura.
With two hours to go, Negri and Legge continued to run 1-2, then handed off to their respective co-drivers, Segal and Lally, to close out the race. However, with just 36 minutes remaining, Olivier Pla’s prototype car made side-to-side contact with Segal’s Acura. Although both cars continued, Segal reported suspension issues almost immediately, and was forced to park his Acura with damaged left-front suspension on the next lap.
Segal’s issues led to a final full-course caution. When the green flag waved for the final time with 25 minutes to go, held off a gaggle of GTD cars to the finish, taking the checkers ahead of a Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and a pair of Lexus entries.
The Acura NSX GT3s compete in the GTD class of the WeatherTech series, campaigning against premium automotive brands including Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
Developed from the production Acura NSX, the NSX GT3 utilizes the production NSX’s ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with aluminum-intensive space frame, which is produced at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio, exclusive worldwide manufacturing facility for the NSX. The 3.5-liter racing engine uses the same design specifications as the production Acura NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. A six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels.
After consecutive victories for Acura at Detroit and Watkins Glen, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now moves to another classic road course. Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, located outside of Toronto, will be the site of the July 9 Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix.
Andy Lally (Driver, Michael Shank Racing #93 Acura NSX GT3) GTD race winner at Watkins Glen: “Being my home state, and my home track, this – other than putting a Rolex on your wrist [for winning the Rolex 24] is the most important race in the world to me – and I can’t believe we won it. ‘Kat’ [Katherine Legge] ran a triple stint in the middle and did really well, and our teammates Jeff [Segal] and Ozz [Negri] were flying today, it’s just such a shame they had their problem so close to the finish.”
Katherine Legge (Driver, Michael Shank Racing #93 Acura NSX GT3) GTD race winner at Watkins Glen: “My stint started out pretty eventful. I got some pickup on my tires after moving off line to let some prototypes pass, and the vibration and noise was pretty incredible until I was able to clean up the tires. But we got the #93 car back up to just behind [teammate] Ozz [Negri] and handed it off to Andy [Lally] in good shape. Then, Andy just dominated that final stint. This has been an amazing day, and I think it proves Acura is here at the front [of the field] and here to stay.”
Steve Eriksen (Vice President & COO, Honda Performance Development) on today’s second consecutive IMSA race win for the Acura NSX GT3: “It was another great race weekend for Acura. Our first GTD pole on Saturday, followed by back-to-back race wins for the #93 NSX GT3 driven by Andy Lally and Katherine Legge. The team looked poised for a 1-2 finish, until a post-contact mechanical failure ended what was a spectacular run for Ozz Negri and Jeff Segal in the #86 Acura. The relentless work of Michael Shank Racing and all of our HPD associates is beginning to reap dividends, and proves that the NSX GT3 is a competitive platform on all types of circuits – everything from the tight and rough Detroit street course to the smooth and very fast track here at Watkins Glen.”
The world is so full of myths and folk stories that sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between what is true and what is not. Let’s take a look at popular car myths and sort fact from fiction! Your car will thank you for it.
Manual transmissions offer better fuel economy than automatics.
Back in the day when automatic transmissions were new, manual transmission was better for fuel economy. But, technology is of course, always evolving, and now this is not the case. These new advances in technology have allowed automatics to be just as, if not more, advantageous in comparison to manuals.
You should let your car warm up for several minutes before driving.
Yeah absolutely, if you are driving a car made in the 80s. Oh you aren’t? Then maybe not. The U.S. Department of Energy says that most manufacturers recommend driving slowly off after about 30 seconds. When you drive the car the engine warms up faster, reducing emissions and fuel costs.
Your non-premium car will run better on premium fuel.
The word ‘premium’ makes everything sound enticing, but in fact, using premium fuel on a non-premium car is just a plain waste of money. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should only use the fuel that your car manual tells you to. Premium fuel will not offer any benefits for such a car at all.
Modifying your car will void the warranty.
The parts on your car that you have altered won’t be under warranty, but you can find peace knowing that the rest of your vehicle is still protected.
You get more for your money when you fill your gas tanks in the morning.
Some people think that because the mornings are cooler, the gasoline will be able to stay denser and therefore you get more fuel per gallon. Whilst cool temperatures do keep gasoline denser, the fuel is stored underground anyway so the temperature rarely changes.
Hiding behind a car will protect you from gunfire.
Hollywood films have told us that if you hide behind a car, you are protected from gunfire, but this actually isn’t the case. It does, of course, depend on the power of the bullet, however a lot of new model cars do not do well under fire.
Red cars are pulled over for speeding more than non-red cars.
Red is the fastest color, right? Well actually no, color does not make a difference at all. If you have a car which can achieve high speeds rapidly, like the Mercedes Benz SL Class convertible, then you might be more at risk because speeding is easier to achieve.
You need to change your oil every 3000 miles.
If you have a vehicle that was made in the 70s then sure, changing it every 300 miles won’t go astray. Nowadays this is a complete myth. If you want to know when to change your oil simply check your manual.
If you use your cell phone whilst pumping gas, it can trigger an explosion.
We’ve seen it in the movies before, so it must be true! Well, apparently there actually hasn’t ever been a documented incident where the use of wireless phone has been the cause of a fire at a gas station.
A bullet to the gas tank will cause a big explosion.
Mythbusters proved this one to be a myth on an episode where they shot at a gas tank with pistols, shot guns and a 30-06. The gas simply poured onto the ground.
BMW drivers are the biggest jerks on the road
Apparently this myth is supposedly true! A 2012 traffic study suggested that BMW’s were the worst at letting pedestrians cross the road.
Religious symbols might protect you from accidents.
There is no God!