• NSX GT3 Evo takes on global racing programme
  • Baguette, Farnbacher and van der Zande to drive
  • Motul named as technical partner

Honda Racing will compete in the world’s most prestigious GT3 races in 2019 after confirming a manufacturer entry into the Intercontinental GT Challenge with the NSX GT3 Evo.

Using the latest version of the NSX GT3, which claimed its maiden victory this month in only its second event, a one-car operation will compete in the remaining four events of the series with an ultra-successful professional driver line-up and technical support from Motul.

Bertrand Baguette, Mario Farnbacher and Renger van der Zande will race the NSX GT3 Evo at the upcoming California Eight Hours at Laguna Seca on March 30 and in additional events, with line-up revisions possible later in the year.

Introduced in 2019, the NSX GT3 Evo features a number of upgrades from its race-winning predecessor including a new front splitter and bodywork, aimed at reducing drag, improving aerodynamic efficiency and cooling and increasing driveability.

New turbochargers offer improved throttle response, boost control and fuel economy while an upgraded data and display unit further enhances the driver experience.

On the driver side, Bertrand Baguette made his NSX GT3 debut at the Spa 24 Hours last year and also raced the car in the International GT Open at Monza.

A single-seater champion in Formula Renault 3.5; the 33-year-old Belgian was a the Le Mans 24 Hours winner and an FIA World Endurance Champion in LMP2 in 2013 and was victorious at Super GT’s biggest race; the Suzuka 1000km, in 2017.

Mario Farnbacher debuted the NSX GT3 Evo at the January’s Daytona 24 Hours and was a winner in IMSA’s GTD category with the previous version of the car last year to help Meyer Shank Racing claim second in the Teams’ points.

The 26-year-old German is a two-time class winner at Sebring in GT machinery and has also won Petit Le Mans as well as recording race victories in the International GT Open and ADAC GT Masters.

Renger van der Zande is no stranger to the NSX GT3; the 33-year-old Dutchman having raced the car in the FIA GT World Cup in Macau in 2017.

A former IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar champion, Renger achieved his biggest win to date in January’s Daytona 24 Hours to add to Petit Le Mans victory last year and podium finishes at the Spa and Nurburgring 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours.

The Honda Racing programme will be run by JAS Motorsport, who are responsible for the assembly of all NSX GT3 Evos at their base in Milan, Italy.

The remaining IGTC races take place at Laguna Seca, Spa-Francorchamps, Suzuka and Kyalami with events varying between eight and 24 hours in duration.

Bertrand Baguette

Bertrand Baguette

“This is a very exciting moment for me as it means I’ll be racing the NSX GT3 Evo as well as the Super GT NSX GT500 this year. My first experience of racing the NSX GT3 was at my home event, the 24 Hours of Spa, last year with our pro-am entry. That was a fantastic event, but returning this year to compete in the pro category moves things up a level. Both Renger and Mario are fantastic GT drivers with a lot of wins to their names and together I think we’ll make a strong and well-matched line-up.”

Honda Team Motul
Mario Farnbacher

Mario Farnbacher

“I’m so happy to be a part of this programme and extremely grateful to everybody at Honda that has pushed for me to be involved. One year ago I was set to be the ‘extra’ driver in the NSX GT3 in IMSA, but did half the season and won a race, which has led to a full year in the USA. To add this IGTC programme, with such a strong team and a brilliant set of team-mates, is incredibly exciting. GT3 racing is now a series of sprints, but we’ve already seen that the NSX GT3 Evo can be a strong contender in either this condition or in pure-endurance terms, so I’m excited.”

Honda Team Motul
Renger van der Zande

Renger van der Zande

“I’m thrilled to be chosen to be a part of Honda Racing’s IGTC programme, and especially to be making my debut in the NSX GT3 Evo at my favourite circuit, Laguna Seca. When I drove the NSX GT3 at the end of 2017, I could see that this was a car with a lot of potential and through the GT World Cup event we made a huge amount of progress. To see some NSX GT3 Evo customer teams make such a strong start to this season both at Daytona and with the win in Austin shows how far this programme has come and I’m excited about the potential of what we can achieve this year.”

Honda Team Motul
Masashi Yamamoto

Masashi Yamamoto

General Manager of Motor Sports Division, Honda Motor Co.

“We are very pleased to confirm our presence in the Intercontinental GT Challenge this year, which underlines our growing commitment to GT3 racing and provides an opportunity to showcase the performance of the NSX GT3 Evo to several key new markets across the world. Through the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Programme, launched in 2017, we are delighted to see a growing number of cars competing in domestic and international GT3 racing and through this new programme, featuring a strong team and an exciting driver line-up, we have an excellent opportunity to add to the growing number of successes being achieved by the car.”

Honda Team Motul
Stefano Fini

Stefano Fini

JAS Motorsport NSX GT3 Project Leader

“The Intercontinental GT Challenge is the pinnacle of GT3 racing as it brings together the most prestigious events on the planet and allows us the opportunity not just to view them as standalone races any more. The NSX GT3 Evo, while assembled at JAS Motorsport, is the result of an extremely successful collaborative programme with Honda Motor in Japan and Honda Performance Development [HPD] in the USA and is already a race winner. With a first-rate driver line-up and a team who know the car inside out, we are well-placed to put on a strong performance in each of the four remaining races and showcase the NSX GT3 Evo to potential new customers across the world.”

Honda Team Motul