Press release from realtimerl.com:
RealTime Readies V6 Acura TSX for 2012 World Challenge
Drivers Cunningham and Esayian return with eyes on GTS Championship
SAUKVILLE, Wis. (February 28, 2012) – RealTime Racing will enter the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Championships with renewed vigor, as the Wisconsin-based team revealed plans to field a pair of V6-powered Acura TSXs in the GTS category.Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Nick Esayian, of Encinitas, Calif., both return to pilot the No. 42 and No. 34 Acuras.
After winning the inaugural GTS Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships in 2010, RealTime went head-to-head with a GTS field predominated by V8-powered Boss 302 Ford Mustangs in 2011. The team took home one win, two pole positions and eight podium finishes en route to a runner-up finish for Acura in the manufacturer standings. For 2012, the upgrade to a V6 power plant will play a key role in RealTime’s quest to return the GTS manufacturer trophy to Acura.
“Acura’s four-cylinder TSX engine served us well for eight seasons, winning the Touring Car Manufacturers’ Championship in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009, and the first-ever GTS title in 2010,” Cunningham said. “With the GTS class growing in popularity and diversity, it’s become necessary for us to take a step up in Acura’s range of TSX options.”
Acura’s 3.5-liter VTEC® V6 combined with the TSX’s nimble handling will provide RealTime with the perfect weapon to take on the larger displacement and forced-induction machinery of GTS and pursue a record-10th World Challenge Manufacturers’ title for Acura. A slew of Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros dominate the 2012 World Challenge GTS entry list, but the diverse category also sees Acura up against the BMW M3, Nissan 370Z, Mitsubishi Evo, Audi TT, Porsche Cayman S and 996, plus a pair of factory-backed turbocharged Kia Optimas.
“In order to improve the competitiveness of the TSX in World Challenge, we have moved forward with switching RealTime from the four-cylinder to the V6,” said Lee Niffenegger, Senior Engineer at Honda Performance Development. “Making the switch to the top trim level of our TSX engine line-up will enable RealTime to continue its record-setting performance in the Series, while further establishing this Acura model as one of the most successful in World Challenge history.”
In addition to recording nine Manufacturers’ Championships for Acura, RealTime owner and driver Cunningham holds Series records for most wins (41), poles (44), top-three finishes (104), top-five finishes (141) and top-10 finishes (176).
“Acura’s attributes of superior handling and unparalleled reliability have been the cornerstone of RealTime’s success in World Challenge,” Cunningham said. “We’re all eager to see how the new V6 engines perform against the competition.
I’m also looking forward to putting the No. 42 back on the side of my racecar – it’s brought me good luck over the years and more than my share of championships.”
For the third year in a row, Cunningham will team with Esayian. Driving the No. 34 RealTime Acura TSX, the nine-year World Challenge veteran is looking to expand his record of 89 starts, one win, 18 top-five finishes and 48 top-10 finishes.
“I can’t wait to do the first standing start with Acura’s V6 engine,” Esayian said. “Last year our TSX’s strong qualifying efforts were often overshadowed by the launch our V8 competitors were able to get on the start. We may still be down in cylinders compared to the bulk of the GTS grid, but we’ll make it up in handling and reliability.”
The 2012 Pirelli World Challenge season will begin with a doubleheader at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 23 – 25. The races will air live on www.world-challengetv.com and on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus), Sunday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m. (ET). For more information on the Pirelli World Challenge Championships, visit www.world-challenge.com
The 2012 season for RealTime Racing is brought to you by Acura, HPD, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, Sparco, BOSCH,Brembo and Total Auto Body.
[Source: RealTime Racing]