With eight races down, and five to go in the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge America, the championship battle headed to the newly repaved Road America. Along with the featured GT World Challenge America effort from Racers Edge Motorsports, Acura debuted in GT America for the first time this season with an NSX fielded by CDR Valkyrie.
Before the action started, the weekend began with a reunion of sorts on the streets of Elkhart Lake, with some vintage Realtime Racing Acura machines along with our modern competitors bringing the roar of Honda and Acura machines to the annual town parade.
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Mario Farnbacher and Ashton Harrison overcame a 12th place overall starting position to finish in the top 5, and 3rdplace in the premier Pro class on Saturday. Ashton Harrison led the charge, passing three cars in the first turn of the race on her way to moving up to 6th place overall when she handed the wheel over to Mario Farnbacher. Resuming in 7th following the pit stop, Farnbacher was able to put the Racers Edge Motorsports NSX GT3 Evo22 on the podium with a 3rd place finish in class, and 5th overall. Farnbacher made all his moves going into turn 5, including passing the championship leader with 15 minutes remaining to cut into the points lead.
On Sunday, Farnbacher started third in Pro and ninth overall, and was able to maintain that podium position throughout his stint. After Harrison took over, she was able to work her way through some of the Pro-Am drivers to improve the team’s overall position. After an accident took out a few Pro-Am leading cars, along with a successful pass into 2nd, Harrison found herself in 2nd in class and 2nd overall.
Unfortunately, with just 3 laps remaining Harrison went offtrack following contact from another competitor, dropping the Acura NSX GT3 EVO22 to a 4th in class and 7th overall when the checkers flew.
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Brian Lock impressed many when he qualified fourth with the introduction of the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 to the single driver GT America GT3 event. After running competitively, swapping between 5th and 3rd places throughout the first couple laps, Lock was forced to pit for repairs to damage at the rear of his Acura. After dropping down to 12th in GT3 due to the unplanned stop Lock worked his way through the entire GT4 field and made his way up to 8th in GT3 before the raced ended early under caution
After turning some heads with Saturday’s impressive performance, Lock began Sunday’s race from 6th in the 13-car field for the 40-minute sprint race. He had a solid run in the CDR Valkyrie Acura NSX GT3 EVO22, keeping the car clean while working his way up to 4th before finishing 5th in just his second SRO GT America race.
Ashton Harrison (#93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo22), following the first stint of Saturday’s race: “That was a wild stint. It’s so fast you have to be so specific when you make a pass. I knew what my job was, my whole goal was to let it come to me and make an aggressive move when it was ready. I really capitalized on that start.”
The Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 will head to Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, for Rounds 11 & 12 on September 22 – 24.
Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS Saturday Race Results
3rd Pro - #93 Ashton Harrison and Mario Farnbacher, Racers Edge Motorsports NSX GT3
GT America Powered by AWS Saturday Race Results
8th GT3 - #86 Brian Lock, CDR Valkyrie Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS Sunday Race Results
4th Pro - #93 Ashton Harrison and Mario Farnbacher, Racers Edge Motorsports NSX GT3
GT America Powered by AWS Sunday Race Results
4th GT3 - #86 Brian Lock, CDR Valkyrie Acura NSX GT3 Evo22