Acura Unveils TLX Pirelli Challenge Car
DETROIT – During the unveiling of the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype at the North American Int’l Auto Show, Acura Motorsports surprised the crowd with a dual unveiling of the Acura TLX GT race car, which it announced would be campaigned by RealTime Racing in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship.
RealTime and Acura have enjoyed a long and successful relationship in the World Challenge series. Since 1993, RealTime has earned 85 race victories, 14 manufacturers’ championships and 14 drivers’ championships with a variety of Acura and Honda machines. For the next evolution of this prosperous partnership, RealTime will prepare the new Acura TLX for competition in the highly competitive GT category.
Acura returns to World Challenge’s GT category for the first time since 2002, when RealTime campaigned an Acura NSX. In 2014, the TLX will be up against high-performance cars like the Audi R8 LMS, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes SLS, Nissan GTR, Porsche 911 and Ferrari 458.
“The Pirelli World Challenge GT class is at its pinnacle of competitiveness right now, but the Acura TLX is up to the task,” Team Principal Peter Cunningham said. “In 27 years of racing Hondas and Acuras, we’ve shown that we know what it takes to win. We won Acura’s first manufacturers’ championship in 1998 with the Integra Type R, and most recently, its 10th title in 2012 with the TSX. Our team is dedicated to continuing this winning tradition with the TLX.”
RealTime has six years of GT racing experience. During that time the team took home a drivers’ championship for Cunningham in 1997 and runner-up finishes in 2001 and 2002. Cunningham will return to the GT category to pilot the TLX. The seven-time World Challenge champion looks to extend his series record in starts (219), race wins (43) and pole positions (50).
The RTR crew is already hard at work preparing the TLX for the formidable World Challenge GT field. The car features an HPD chassis with enhanced aerodynamic performance parts, and will be powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developed from the production TLX. Like the road-going version, the race car will utilize an all-wheel drive system.