ACURA vs. THE GT3 WORLD
only winner Kevin Estre in the K-PAX
Racing McLaren 650S. Eversley, naturally,
was enthused about the performance.
“The McLaren was able to go very
quickly but, hey, we were right there with
them,” he says, “And the all-wheel drive
was definitely a factor in that, as well as
Real Time and HPD giving me the best
Acura TLX that I’ve driven yet.”
Eversley believes another wet race
says this is the team’s biggest challenge
yet, and even bigger than he first believed.
Not that he’s daunted by the task ahead.
“Along the way we suffered a couple of
setbacks – many setbacks, but two in
particular that delayed our strength and
ability to field two cars,” he says. “The good
news is that we’re here now, it’s still a young
program, and we’ve got two cars that are
working pretty well. We know we can
make them better, yet we feel like they’re
in a fairly good place already. It’s going to
be continuous small bites from here to go
faster; but that’s certainly our plan.”
One of the challenges Real Time faces
in achieving meaningful results in 2015 is
a lack of data. The team only visited two
of the tracks on the schedule with the
TLX GT last year, while most of the rest of
the field is returning to familiar venues
with similar, if not identical, cars. Each
track will bring new surprises for the team.
It’s a test that Eversley relishes as he not
only races, but also helps develop the car.
“We’re not a turnkey operation,” he
says. “We’re starting from the ground up
at every track we go to – we don’t have
data from past seasons. We don’t have
a factory to call; we are the factory.”
There’s a reason Real Time Racing’s
newest driver, Ryan Eversley admits –
much to team principal Peter
Cunningham’s irritation, it has to be said
– to carrying around the team’s photo
in high school and watching them since
he started following sports car racing
as a kid. It is, hands down, the most
successful team in Pirelli World
Challenge history – the series’ own
take on a Hendrick, Penske or Ganassi.
The team first found success in the
International Ice Racing Association in
the late ’80s, where Cunningham won
a trio of titles. He followed that up
with a pair of SCCA ProRally
Championships before the team
started its World Challenge campaign
in the first year of the series, racing
Honda Preludes to a couple of titles
with Cunningham and Michael Galati.
In 1997, the team’s long and
successful association with Acura
began, and the ensuing years brought
a host of wins and championships
(shared between Cunningham, Galati
and Pierre Kleinubing) that made the
Integra Type R the most successful
car in Pirelli World Challenge history.
Following that, Cunningham drove an
NSX to a GT championship.
The ensuing years have seen the
team campaign Acura RSXs and TSXs
in Touring Car and the TSX in GTS,
where it also won championships. Now,
as the team looks back on a quarter-century of success in Pirelli World
Challenge that includes 85 wins, 14
drivers’ championships and the
delivery of 14 manufacturers’ titles to
Acura and Honda, it’s relishing its new
challenge with the GT class TLX GT.
(TOP) Real Time gave the Integra Type R a
fourth title in 2002. (ABOVE) V6-powered
TSX brought GTS class success in 2012.
A WinninG mACHinE
might just deliver a podium, but key to
the season will be improving dry-weather
performance. And as things stand, a
podium earned on dry asphalt is a long
way from where the team currently sits.
Real Time certainly knows how to build
winning cars and has won championships
at every level of PWC, from its first with
the Honda Prelude, to the most recent
GTS titles with the TSX. But Cunningham
“We’re not a turnkey
operation. We’re starting
from the ground up at every
track we go to”
(LEFT) Real Time crew
works on the direct-injection, twin-turbo
TLX GT. (BELOW)
New driver Ryan
Eversley gets ready
to go to work at the
Co TA season-opener.