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RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 earn Pair top 10s in Pirelli World Challenge debut

The Acura NSX GT3s of RealTime Racing debuted in solid fashion this weekend, earning a pair of top-10 finishes as the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season opened at St. Petersburg, Florida with a pair of events.

The weekend was a study in perseverance for both Ryan Eversley and Peter Kox as both drivers battled through misfortune that prevented their weekends from being resounding successes.

Eversley fought back from a Thursday crash that left him last on the starting grid for Saturday's opener and rebounded for a ninth-place run on Sunday. Meanwhile Kox powered his Acura NSX GT3 from 14th to eighth in Saturday's opener but saw his Sunday end after just three turns with a broken radiator.

"We had a solid debut with a couple of top 10s, and we gained some knowledge that will help us on other street circuits like Long Beach," said NSX GT3 Project Leader Lee Niffenegger. "We have to work with the series to get the car to where it is truly competitive every race, but this is a good start for us to the 2017 season."

Eversley started shotgun on the 24-car field in Saturday's race, as his practice crash left him unable to qualify, but he gained six spots before residual damage from the accident sidelined him with six laps to go. A fast lap time during Saturday's race earned him the seventh grid spot for the second race of the weekend, and he ran in the top 10 all day before settling for ninth.

"I was really happy with how HPD, RealTime Racing and the Acura NSX team bounced back after a tough first day," Eversley said. "Our car is really good on road courses, but we have a little ways to go on the street circuits. This weekend's effort is going to help us get better. Really happy for the team, and very excited to see Sebastien Bourdais and Honda win the Indy Car event as well."

Kox's weekend went in the opposite order from his teammate. The native of the Netherlands started 14th in the opener and climbed into the top 10 by the race's halfway point. After a couple of late retirements, Kox had gained six spots to finish eighth and earn the race's Hard Charger Award. Unfortunately the joy was short-lived and Sunday's race ended before the end of the first lap when he suffered a punctured radiator, leaving him to finish 24th.

"I knew the car was going to be faster in the race and it performed as I expected on Saturday," Kox said. "I would have liked to have qualified a little better, as it is very hard to pass on this street course, but it was a good start for us. Sunday was unfortunate and we will just have to move on to Long Beach and get better."

The Pirelli World Challenge will next do battle on the streets of Long Beach April 7-9, running the year's third round on Sunday afternoon.

03/13/17

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