RealTime Acuras Both Earn Top-10 Finishes in World Challenge Season Finale
Pirelli World Challenge Championships Presented by Nissan 2.253-mile road course – Monterey, Calif. Weather: Warm, sunny, 74 degrees F
- Ryan Eversley finishes sixth in season standings to lead 2016 Acura PWC effort
- Spencer Pumpelly finishes ninth in season finale for RealTime Racing
- Acura drivers gained 14 positions from their starting spots on Sunday
The 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season ended with a bang Sunday afternoon in Monterey, California, as the Acura TLXs of RealTime Racing deftly avoided a last-lap dustup and finished with a pair of top-10 finishes in the season finale.
A late caution forced a one-lap shootout for the win on the twisty 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca layout, but Spencer Pumpelly sidestepped trouble to finish ninth, while Ryan Eversley survived late contact and followed his teammate home for a 10th-place result. Eversley's result moved him to sixth place in the PWC GT final standings, matching the best season result ever posted by the Acura TLX GT.
"The last lap restart was wild. Cars were running into each other in Turn Six and I made up some ground, then I got back alongside [Michael] Schein coming out of the Corkscrew, and we made contact again. This time he went off, so we ended up 10th." Eversley reported. "Looking back, I'm super happy and thankful to have represented RealTime Racing and Acura with the TLX GT again this year. It's been a fantastic season, especially the [two-victory] sweep at Road America!"
Spencer Pumpelly paced a tough qualifying session for the team by earning a 15th-place starting spot, while RTR stablemate Eversley had his Acura in 18th for Sunday's 27-lap battle. Both cars were able to make up a handful of positions on the day's three restarts, but the team needed to muscle through a contact-filled last lap to get top-10 results.
"It was a tough race. It seemed more like three short sprints, interrupted by yellows, than a single race," Pumpelly said. "On the final restart, there was a lot of pushing and shoving, and we came through for ninth. It's been a pleasure driving for RealTime Racing and Acura, and the TLX GT has been a blast to drive. I'm grateful for the opportunity."
"We were at a competitive disadvantage coming into this weekend, and we knew it. But the RealTime crew, Ryan [Eversley] and Spencer [Pumpelly] fought hard, and I think we maximized what we had in the race," said Senior Program Engineer/Honda Performance Development, Lee Niffenegger. "It's the end of an era for the TLX GT, a car that became a definite fan favorite over the last two and a half years. I'm proud of the job RealTime Racing, our Acura Motorsports team, and all of our drivers have done over the course of the program. Now we look forward to 2017, and the start of a new Acura Motorsports era with the NSX GT3."
The last-lap contact did result in post-race penalties, although none of them affected the Acura RTR drivers. The win was awarded to Alvaro Parente, who drove his McLaren 650S to the 2016 season championship.
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 Acura TLX.
Video recaps from the weekend's Acura Pirelli World Challenge racing activities at Laguna Seca are being posted on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2016 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
GT Race Results Round 20:
|1||Alvaro Parente||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650S||27 Laps|
|2||Michael Cooper||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS-V.R.||- 0.671 sec.|
|3||Bryan Heitkotter||AE Replay XD||Nissan GTR||+ 1.309|
|9||Ryan Eversley||RealTime Racing||Acura TLX GT||+ 12.751|
|10||Spencer Pumpelly||RealTime Racing||Acura TLX GT||+ 14.248|