Unless you're a hardcore motorsports fan, chances are you typically don't follow the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. But for '17, NSX fans have something to get excited about. There will be two new NSXs battling it out at this year's series, and the first race is the Rolex 24 in Daytona, Florida, which takes place January 28th and 29th.
Now, there's a lot that'll be going on at the Rolex 24—four different classes, 55 total entries, and too many cars, drivers, and teams to tell you about. But we're going to focus our efforts on the NSX teams, because, well, we're NSX fan boys!
Michael Shank Racing, a team that's been around since '89, manages the two NSXs and also won the Rolex 24 last year in a Honda-powered Prototype. The NSX fits under the GT Daytona (GTD) class, which isn't the fastest group out there, but it has the toughest competition, especially when you consider manufacturers like Porsche, Mercedes, and Ferrari are players.
What's also tough about this class is how the playing field is balanced out. First, all cars are on Continental tires and they're all limited to a top speed of 180mph and 500hp - the new NSX comes with 573hp, so they have to be detuned. But we're still talking about several different engines in the class - some V8s, some boosted - plus all of the cars feature different driving dynamics as a result of their aero, weight, ride height, etc. IMSA monitors and works with each team to ensure the playing field is as equal as possible so no team has an unfair advantage.
Since the NSXs have never competed before, they'll easily be one of the most anticipated cars to watch this weekend. They'll have seasoned drivers behind the wheel of each car, which include Graham Rahal, Andy Lally, Katherine Legge, and Mark Wilkins in the no. 93 car, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, Jeff Segal, Oswaldo "Ozz" Negri, Jr., and Tom Dyer in the no. 86 car.
We were able to get a sneak preview of the cars at a testing day last month, but they'll be sporting new liveries for the race this weekend. We'll personally be at the start of Rolex 24 this Saturday to bring you more behind-the-scenes coverage and cheering on both NSXs. Go, Acura!
You can also watch television coverage beginning Saturday, January 28th, on FOX at 2 p.m. ET, with 23 total hours of racing coverage on FS1 and FS2 throughout the weekend.