The Honda NSX GT3 made a promising debut on the streets of Macau as Renger van der Zande qualified 12th for the FIA GT World Cup.
Against one of the highest-quality GT3 line-ups ever assembled, the Honda Motor-entered NSX GT3 made significant gains across a trio of 30-minute timed sessions; culminating in a sixth-row start for Saturday’s qualifying race.
Having gone 19th in the opening session on Thursday, Renger improved by over two seconds in FP2 thanks to a number of set-up improvements made by the team.
Further tweaks improved the balance even more for qualifying; the Dutchman securing a starting position on the sixth row, just 1.6 seconds away from pole position on the car’s maiden appearance on the fabled 6.8km circuit that’s widely regarded as the world’s most challenging street track.
Saturday’s 12-lap qualifying race will set the grid for the main event, the FIA GT World Cup, on Sunday.
Renger van der Zande: « I’m pleased to qualify 12th when you consider where we were 24 hours ago. The engineers and mechanics have done an incredible job since the opening practice session, and the result is that we’re ahead of nearly half of our competitors, who have a lot more experience at Macau than we do. This circuit is a huge challenge for a car that’s coming here for the first time; perhaps more of a challenge than anywhere else because of the layout and the bumps. I can say that this car is definitely a good race car and I think we can keep moving up in the two races. »
Stefano Fini – Team Director: « It’s been a very strong team performance here over the past 24 hours. If you told me yesterday that we’d qualify 12th, I’d say we would have a very tough job to manage this. But every member of the team has worked incredibly hard to improve the car and give Renger the confidence to push hard. The car is brand-new to this circuit and every other car in the FIA GT World Cup has been here before, so we knew it would be a big challenge. I think today’s performance gives us a good platform to build on for the rest of the weekend. »
Press Release Honda Racing,