- Kyle Marcelli, Martin Barkey earn third Pro/Am class win of 2019 for Acura
- Till Bechtolsheimer pairs with Marc Miller to win Saturday’s opening race
- Injury leads to RealTime Racing driver lineup change and move to Pro class
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (May 19, 2019) – For the second consecutive SRO Blancpain GT World Challenge America weekend, Acura powered a pair of NSX GT3 Evo’s to victory in the ProAm class, sweeping both races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, fifth and sixth rounds in the 2019 series championship.
Gradient Racing changed up its driver lineup for the weekend, with Till Bechtolsheimer joined by the returning Marc Miller in the team’s Acura NSX GT3 Evo. The pairing scored the team’s first Pro/Am class win of the year in Saturday’s opening race.
On Sunday, the Racer’s Edge Motorsports Acura of Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey followed with its third victory of the 2019 campaign and a popular “home track” result for the two Canadian racers.
After missing the first two weekends due to other driving commitments, Miller returned to the Gradient Racing Acura NSX for the first time in 2019. In the first stint, Bectholsheimer assumed the class lead when the Wright Motorsports Porsche pitted with a cut tire. Following the mandatory mid-race pit stop, co-driver Miller continued at the front, but had a fight on his hands trying to hold it. His competition was Marcelli, who made a late charge in his Racer’s Edge NSX. Miller was able to hold him off in the final laps, taking the checkers by the narrow margin of .805 seconds to earn the win.
The Racer’s Edge duo rebounded on Sunday, as the Canadian team outdistanced the DXDT Racing Mercedes AMG of David Askew and Ryan Dalziel by more than eight seconds to visit Victory Lane for the third consecutive race weekend of the season, and extend their Pro/Am class championship lead.
Meanwhile the weekend took an interesting turn for the RealTime Racing Acura NSX, which was forced to change drivers and classes for Sunday, but earned top-five finishes in both events.
On Saturday, the RealTime squad finished fifth in the Pro/Am class with their regular driver lineup of Dane Cameron and Bret Curtis. However, Curtis was contending with pain from a back injury, and following Saturday’s race the injury forced him to come out of the car for Sunday’s event.
RealTime replaced Curtis with Trent Hindman, who is a regular in the Acura NSX GT3 run by Meyer Shank Racing in IMSA competition. The driver change to the Gold-rated Hindman required the team to reclassify into the Pro class for Sunday’s race. Finally, although Cameron had qualified on the Pro/Am pole, the team now had to start from the rear of the field.
Starting driver Hindman worked his way through the Pro/Am field during his stint, and after the mid-race pit stop and driver change, Cameron gained additional positions to finish fifth overall and in the Pro class.
The SRO Blancpain GT World Challenge America series next journeys west to Sonoma Raceway, near San Francisco, California, for rounds seven and eight of the 14-race season, June 7-9.
Social media content and video links from this weekend’s activities at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park are available on Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).
Marc Miller (#5 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) Pro/Am class winner on Saturday: “The Acura NSX was real easy to drive today. The last couple of days we’ve been scratching our heads and trying to find speed in the car, and the team spent the night just making the car better. I saw Kyle [Marcelli, running second] coming, but I think by the time he got there, he had used up most of his tires. I waited and then was able to push and I think that’s what [got the win] for us.”
Kyle Marcelli (#80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo) Pro/Am class winner on Sunday: “We are confident in our team and our equipment but we’ve really come together and jelled as a team. The car is in a sweet spot and we expect to come out here every weekend and contend for race wins.”
Trent Hindman (#43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) replaced the injured Bret Curtis for Sunday’s race: “I got the call and headed right over to the track and I think it was something that came together in about an hour. I’m sorry that Bret was down and I was happy to get the call, and I appreciate getting the nod from the team, I just wish I could have done a little better.”
Blancpain GT World Challenge America
Circuit: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Bowmanville, Ont.
Weather: Breezy, cool, 51 degrees F Saturday
Mostly sunny, mild, 62 degrees F Sunday