As much as we all hate to admit it, it’s that time of year again.
It’s that time of year when the racing is winding down, and the announcers say things like, “with only three races left in this championship.”
If you’re like me, you get a little choked up and you wonder where all the racing went. I think, for any racing fan, it’s the second hardest part of the season, only after the official end of the season. How are we going to survive the long cold months without our racing?
But there’s also a sense of excitement in the air during this time of year. Well, maybe excitement and trepidation. I affectionately call this time of year Hell Time: that time when teams are trying to make their budgets work and looking at their line ups and their manufacturer choice. For the teams, it’s all about winning in 2017, and it often leads to a flurry of both good and bad news.
But I’m not here to talk about the bad news. I’m here to officially announce that I’m excited for 2017. I’m excited because of one car and one car only. All of social media seems to be abuzz about this car, constantly tweeting their excitement and assorted emojis to illustrate just how much they love this car.
At this point, you’re probably rolling your eyes and going, “Oh, here we go, Katie’s going to wax poetic about the 2017 Porsche.” You, my racing friend, are wrong.
It’s not that I’m not excited about the new Porsche and finding out whether or not the German manufacturer has changed years of tradition to make the car a mid-engine turbo to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Ford. It’s more like I have seen the light in the form of the new Acura NSX GT3 and I will (temporarily) hang up my Porsche fangirl hat to join the internet in its general glee over this incredible new addition to the sports car ranks.
If you’ve been living under a rock, Acura has introduced their 2017 competitor in the form of the NSX. Slotted to compete in both Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA next year, Acura has built an updated version of a nostalgic favorite, and it is fast. Both of its forays into PWC practice has led to a topping of the time charts. Take a moment to imagine the NSX coming up behind you, that formidable smile in your mirrors, and maybe you’ll understand why the internet has exploded into heart eyed emojis.
Actually, I guess that’s a good question. Why does the internet love the NSX GT3 so much? What has us all so excited at the prospect of seeing this car compete at some of the best tracks in North America next year? Is it a sense of nostalgia for a popular sportscar of the past? Do we look at this beautiful car and feel ourselves transported back to the 90s and early 00s when this sportscar took Ferraris and Corvettes to task? Is it the thrill of something new in our sportscar ranks? Acura has done well in World Challenge and I don’t know many people who don’t actively cheer for the Acura TLX. But in IMSA, we have mostly had the same batch of sportscars for years. So is that it?
Now, I kind of promised myself I wouldn’t fangirl here. I mean, I hung up my Porsche fangirl hat so I feel like I should keep this chill. In that interest, I went to Twitter. I asked the racing tweeples why they couldn’t wait for the NSX to start competing. I wasn’t sure what to expect but suffice it to say, I didn’t get the answers above. A few people responded that they couldn’t wait to see Acura take it to the competitors in IMSA, a few mentioned that they couldn’t wait to see the NSX on track at Daytona. But overwhelmingly, the answer was, “I can’t wait for Ryan Eversley to drive it!”
Honesty time: that’s one of the reasons why I’m so thrilled about the NSX. It’s a gorgeous car. I can’t wait to see it in the international horseshoe during the Rolex 24. But I am most anxious to see one of my favorite drivers wrangle this machine around the track. The internet seems to agree, which probably isn’t much of a surprise. Eversley is arguably one of the most popular sportscar drivers both on and off the track. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone have a bad fan experience with him, and it’s easy to understand why. He’s one of the most active drivers on social media, and seems to answer a good chunk of the fans who tweet to him. In person, he’s eager to spend time chatting about the car, the series, rules, and anything else you might bring up. He’s also hilarious and willing to teach about the sport he lives and breathes. It’s easy to walk away from a conversation with him thinking you’ve just made a friend, and anyone with kids who has met him knows that he’s all about building lifelong fans of the sport. In short, he’s the kind of driver the sport needs, the kind of driver that makes people pay attention.
I should probably note here that there hasn’t been any kind of announcement as to who the drivers will be in each respective series. My sincere hope is that we see Eversley race in both PWC and IMSA, and I’ve started a bit of a campaign on Twitter to make that happen. I think that decision would send the internet into an emoji and gif-filled happiness spiral, so I hope that is in our future. Where ever Eversley ends up racing, it’s pretty clear that his involvement with Acura has left sportscar racing fans eager to see him race in a car that reminds some of us of a days long gone.
So, as we all battle with the end of season blues, the NSX is now the new Ford GT: the new car that has all of us waiting with bated breath for the first time it comes out of NASCAR Turn 4 and takes the green flag at the 2017 Rolex 24.
Featured Image: Pirelli World Challenge