For those of us who grew up and believing that Honda and Acura were the only “cool” auto manufacturers in the world, RealTime Racing had the coolest of the cool. From NSXs to Integra Type-Rs to RSXs to TSXs, RealTime Racing campaigned some of the most beautifully built touring car racers of the last two decades.
Being 11-time World Challenge Champions is no easy task and it looks like RealTime Racing is looking for a whole new challenge for 2010. “Coming into the new year we had a decision to make: Remove a number of go-fast bits and run in Touring Car, or tune up our TSXs to try and be competitive in GTS,” explained ’08 Touring Car champion Cunningham. “It’s a faster group of cars – anything from other Acuras and Lotus, all the way to big iron like Corvette and Viper.”
Those big sports cars probably won’t to be too popular, however, with the field likely to be dominated by the Acuras and a fleet of BMWs that are expected to make the jump to GTS.
By being able to build on top of an already strong and championship-proven platform, RealTime Racing will once again return as the favorites for us enthusiasts growing up loving all things Honda and Acura. This may just be the excitement we’ve all been waiting for from World Challenge; seeing new-generation Acura TSXs competing against heavy American muscle and other nimble counterparts. The official release from RealTime Racing available after the jump.
We’ll be sure to see how the RTR Acuras compete, with the first race of the season taking place this weekend in St. Petersburg, FL.
[Source: RealTime Racing]
GALLERY: Real Time Racing Acuras
World Challenge stalwart RealTime Racing will return to the series with a pair of new-generation Acura TSXs; not to defend its 2009 Touring Car Championship, but to move up to the new GTS class.
Eight-time SCCA Pro Racing champion Peter Cunningham will lead the Acura Motorsports charge as the Wisconsin-based squad welcomes back former RTR pilot, Nick Esayian. The reunited band mates look forward to the competition in the first-year category.
“Coming into the new year we had a decision to make: Remove a number of go-fast bits and run in Touring Car, or tune up our TSXs to try and be competitive in GTS,” explained ’08 Touring Car champion Cunningham. “It’s a faster group of cars-anything from other Acuras and Lotus, all the way to big iron like Corvette and Viper.
“I can guarantee you we’re not going to outrun anyone down the straightaway, but we should have their number in the turns,” Esayian added. “We had the opportunity to test a couple of weeks ago in Texas and I can tell you it was a ball to drive one of these unleashed front-drive rockets!”
Nick spent the first four years of his World Challenge career driving for RealTime, before joining the Bimmerworld BMW effort in 2007. Now, after two years in a rear-wheel-drive Touring Car, Nick returns as a faster and more experienced driver ready to take on his teammate and all the rest.
Notably missing from the 2010 lineup is defending and five-time Touring Car Champion, Pierre Kleinubing. The challenging economy forced the team to cut back on the number of entries it will run this season-hopefully a temporary situation for the 13-year RealTime Acura veteran. The good news is he landed on his feet with a leading role on Glenn Bocchino’s i-Moto Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge effort.
The 21st season of the SCCA World Challenge Series commences this weekend, March 26-28, for a doubleheader at the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. The production-based WC sports cars will share the Florida streets (but not at the same time) with the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Beyond the addition of the new category, there is other exciting news to report: Fans of the series that can’t make it to the races in person will enjoy expanded television coverage-on the Versus network.
After 11 years of great coverage on the SPEED Channel, the series now makes the move to Versus. Fans will be able to tune in to WC coverage on weekend afternoons-often times before or after LIVE Emmy Award-winning IndyCar programming.
Versus is making quite a name for itself as an action sports leader, as the television home of the Dakar endurance rally, Tour de France bicycle classic and NHL Hockey, and is now the home of World Challenge competition. The WC races will be produced in 2010 by IMS Productions, the same people who provide the lauded coverage of the Indy racers.
Another development new this year is the increase in the number of races and the decrease in the teams’ travel schedule. How is this possible? Now, half of the eight World Challenge weekends will have one race on Saturday and a second on Sunday. Points will accumulate in each of the 12 races to determine the champions in GT, the new GTS class (GO ACURA!) and Touring Car.
The RealTime Acura team is sponsored by Acura Motorsports, Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, Sparco, Hawk Performance, Brembo, A-SPEC, BOSCH, Total Auto Body, and PACT.