Honda For The ‘Ring
GT2 cars are still outlawed for the Nürburgring 24
Hours, but the teams, especially those with factory support, are
finding more and more ingenious ways of getting some very special
machinery into the race. With the exception of the Nissan Skyline,
all frontrunners in last year's race represented German marques;
now Japan is upping the ante. For the first time a Japanese GT Championship
GT500 Honda NSX will be seen in European competition.
As reported by Joost Custers last week, Honda Germany and
the GS-Motorsport team of Nordschleife and Belcar veteran Georg
Severich have teamed up to prepare a 2002 Honda NSX for the German
classic. Built by Dome Cars, chassis #03 was retired at the end
of the '02 JGTC season after a successful campaign in the hands
of Satoru Nakajima's team, with drivers Tsugio Matsuda and Ralph
Firman. They won three races, and finished second in the overall
standings that year.
After a year
and a half in retirement, the car is now modified for the demands
of 24 hour racing, and the Nordschleife in particular, by the specialists
of Toda Racing. The first test in the hands of its new owner is
scheduled before the end of the month; then the car will be shipped
to Germany where development work will continue.
The engine will
be a 3.5l GT500 / GT300 hybrid, with a projected power output of
about 420bhp. This does not sound excessive compared to the 450+bhp
of the DTM engines, or the abundant power of the turbo Porsches;
but the basic weight for specials up to 3.5l is 1200kgs so the car
will be able to shed some weight, and will have a 50kg advantage
over its main rivals. The driver lineup is not yet known.
is backed, and well publicised, by German car magazine "sport
auto". Along with the JGTC car, GS-Motorsport will also probably
enter last year's modified production NSX-R for a team of "sport
auto" journalists again.
fans are looking forward to what promises to be the strongest Japanese