Gradient backed by Acura’s Animated Series for Long Beach – Sportscar365


Image: Degraded Race

Gradient Racing’s one-time appearance in the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup round at Long Beach will be supported by Acura’s animated series, Chiaki’s Journey, the team has confirmed.

Factory HPD driver Mario Farnbacher and longtime Gradient driver Marc Miller will race the #66 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 in next weekend’s 100-minute sprint race, promoting the new series Four-part YouTube from the luxury automaker.

Taking place at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the series features the all-new line of Acura Type S performance vehicles that are driven by a young heroine’s quest to overcome multiple challenges on her way to victory.

The complete series is available on Acura’s YouTube channel.

“Chiaki’s Journey combines anime with the cinematic Acura ‘Less Talk, More Drive’ style to attract a new generation of premium car buyers to the Acura brand,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and chief Acura brand.

“I can’t think of a better place to showcase our performance-focused Acura Type S lineup than the beautiful Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 that will be raced through the streets of Long Beach by Mario and Marc, just as Chiaki races towards the victory here in the animated series.

The Long Beach event will mark the only currently scheduled Sprint Cup race of the season for Gradient, after the Texas-based team focused on the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds this year.

Sportscar365 understands that the team, however, is actively seeking partnerships and funding to complete the Sprint Cup season.

“Long Beach is going to be a really fun addition to our endurance program,” said team principal Andris Laivins.

“The whole team performed at a very high level at Daytona and Sebring, but we had some bad luck, so an extra outing with our Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 is a good way to keep the momentum going.

“Marc and Mario have both been on the podium in this chassis, our pit stops this season have clicked, and I think we’ll have a great shot next week.”

Farnbacher added, “I’m thrilled that we can participate in Acura’s backyard. I’m also excited because Marc and I are able to race together.

“I really like the challenge of street circuits. Tight corners basically give you no leaks and no headroom forever, it’s such a big challenge.

“The risk versus reward nature of the track is what every driver really wants. Marc is a good driver and I have enjoyed racing against him for the past few seasons.

“But after working with him at Daytona, I’m confident we have a car that’s capable of a podium finish and maybe even the top step.”

Miller said he’s “really looking forward” to Long Beach, in what will mark his second WeatherTech Championship start to the season.

“Our Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 should be strong and as a home race for the Acura brand, we will strive for a great result,” he said.

“Having spent the past two seasons racing against Mario, it will be especially fun to team up to win together.”

Jean Dagys is the founder and editor of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and contributed to many other motorsports publications around the world. Contact John

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