Heinricher Racing NSX GT3 Evo Brings Girl Power to Long Beach
NSX GT3 Evo not only features a team of female drivers, but it is also based off the road-going variant designed by a woman.
Shirley Muldowney. Michèle Mouton. The Force Sisters. Just some of the names of women who’ve made their mark upon the history of motorsport.
Katherine Legge is another woman making her mark. Her first race at Long Beach was in the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship, where she also took her first win on the circuit. A year later, she would return behind the wheel in the IndyCar predecessor ChampCar series, where she finished eighth. She also happens to be one of the names behind this special 2019 Acura NSX GT3 Evo that we saw at the 2019 Grand Prix of Long Beach this past weekend.
The NSX GT3 has taken back-to-back wins in its first two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship seasons at Belle Isle near Detroit, plus two other wins at Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca. Those successes have been invested into the Evo version, like this one campaigned by Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing.
This particular NSX GT3 Evo features an all-female team of drivers, including Legge, Simona de Silvestro (who was the second woman to win at Long Beach in the Toyota Atlantic Championship series), Ana Beatriz, Christina Nielsen, and team principal Jackie Heinricher. But it doesn’t stop there.
The second-gen NSX, upon which this GT3 Evo is based, was created under the watch of lead designer Michelle Christensen, who is Honda R&D’s Lead Principal Designer. She held an internship with Volvo in Camarillo, California before joining Acura in 2005, spent time with General Motors, then returned to head up her first project as lead designer, the 2016 NSX.
The NSX GT3 Evo still has the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 from the production NSX, improved and specially modified to meet FIA GT3 requirements, of course. Meanwhile, its all-carbon fiber body has a new aero kit to give the NSX GT3 Evo better balance and drivability, along with improved cooling.
The team of Legge/Beatriz/Nielsen are currently eighth in the 2019 IMSA GTD standings. Their next appearance with the NSX GT3 Evo will be at Mid-Ohio the weekend of May 3 through 5.
Photos for Team Speed by David Ciminelli