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Great news for Honda fans, with race plans for the Acura NSX gathering steam. According to Sportscar365, Steve Eriksen, Honda Performance Development (HPD) VP and COO, says that the company is evaluating the GT3 or GTE platform for the race car (Pikes Peak pace car shown), with a launch scheduled for 2017.

Speaking to the publication, Eriksen says that if the company takes the GT3 route, the NSX could be considered as a replacement to the all-wheel drive Acura TLX-GT racecar, which is currently in its second year of the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC). As the PWC is moving to FIA GT3 homologation with rear-wheel drive characteristics, it would not make sense to reengineer the TLX-GT into a GT3 spec machine.

“You could disconnect your front-wheel drive but is that really going to make a good racecar? We need it to be competitive because otherwise, why be there?” he said.

If Honda decides to go ahead with having the NSX in the GT3 class, the race car will not have the road car’s hybrid system. Eriksen says that the series as it stands now is not ready for the complexity of a hybrid system.

“We certainly raced hybrids before in Japan. The CR-Z raced as a hybrid, the Super GTs have been outfitted as hybrids at times. We know what to do but it doesn’t seem like the other manufacturers are ready for that yet,” he said.

The HPD man believes that ultimately a race team must tailor their cars to the regulations even if it does not suit a company’s marketing objectives. “Just like Audi can’t run their quattro, you have to run what the rules dictate you run, even though it may not suit your marketing as well as you’d like.”

The report says that it’s not certain that the California-based HPD will be in charge of the race NSX. Rumours suggest that Euro-based Jas Motorsport, a long-time Honda partner and the team currently working with Honda in the World Touring Car Championship, might be called in to lend a hand.

HPD or not, Eriksen is adamant that the NSX needs to be featured in a racing series in the USA, as it is the biggest market for the supercar.

Honda NSX Concept-GT racer for Super GT