Honda Performance Development GT3 Driver Academy

As the preeminent OEM racing organization in North America, one of HPD's core principles is to support drivers in achieving their racing dreams. The HPD Driver Academy embodies this by providing extensive track time in the Acura NSX GT3 EVO, and access to experienced GT3 drivers, HPD engineering and trackside support staff, and SRO and IMSA Championship engineers and team owners. The curricula is focused on the skills needed to be ready to race at this level in North America or in global series.

The program will include on-track racecraft coaching sessions in the championship winning Acura NSX GT3 Evo from drivers such as Ryan Eversley, Kyle Marcelli, Mario Farnbacher, and Dane Cameron, as well as off-track instruction relating to effective communication with team personnel and engineers, in addition to driver marketing insights and sponsor searches.

The highly successful Acura NSX GT3 EVO is the only GT3 car developed in North America.  In addition to titles in Japan’s SuperGT 300 and European SRO SportsClub, the NSX GT3 EVO has combined for 11 titles in IMSA GTD and SRO America between 2019 and 2020. While planning to achieve similar success in 2020, HPD is also focused on finding future GT3 winning drivers and is offering  this opportunity to a limited group of hand-selected potential participants. 

Each program will be limited to four drivers at a time to ensure substantial track time and individual attention.

On track performance will include training covering the following topics:

  • Managing tires and fuel
  • Race craft and multiclass racing
  • Achieving race strategy targets
  • Driving for the conditions
  • Efficient pit stop execution for the driver
  • Learning how to practice with efficiency
  • Clear communication between team, driver, and spotter
  • Qualifying laps vs. race pace
  • Understanding the difference between starting and finishing driver roles
  • Optimizing set up for more than one driver and getting the most out of a compromised set up.
GT3 Academy-Indy #2 

Off track performance will include training covering the following topics:

  • Engineer and team communication – how to develop a common language with race engineers and the team.
  • Expectations of top drivers and teams.
  • Data analysis – utilizing data to understand vehicle behavior and contribution to lap time, identifying and reacting to the earliest signs of vehicle trouble and learning how to communicate nuanced vehicle feel into set up changes.
  • Working with teammate(s) – developing a common language, complimentary within team competition and creating best set up to match multiple drivers.
  • Off track training program – learning the most effective physical fitness, mental focus and dietary best habits to optimize on track performance
  • Social/digital media – learn strategies that increase (the right) followers and engagement
  • Sponsorship acquisition – how to prospect, secure and retain sponsors that offer more than transactional support.
  • Physical/mental preparedness – preparing for consistent highest level performance
  • The role of the driver manager –deciding whether to work with a driver manager and what are some of the key criteria that set managers apart
GT3 Academy #3 

Tentative Schedule and Format:

Format: Two drivers per day. Driver pairings to switch during the course of the program.



Test Focus

July 13-14


Learning the car, dealing with traffic, pit stop basics, radio protocols, and using a spotter. Learning how to practice effectively;

August 11-12


Working with an engineer-how he does his job and the feedback needed from the driver

August 31- Sept. 1

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Team test program-how to work in the test environment Pre-event: Discussion on the NSX GT3 electronics. We will have the engineer that led development of the Traction Control and related GT3 driver aids give a “deep dive” discussion on these systems

November 2-3


Race simulation-long stints, driver changes, fuel saving, consistency, and speed.

The Racers Edge Motorsports team -- winners of the 2019 SRO GT3 PRO/AM driver’s championship and 2020 SRO GT3 PRO/AM Team, Driver and Manufacturer championship-- will operate program under the guidance and direction of HPD. Team Principal Jon Mirachi and Race Engineer Jim Pattin will lead tests. Acura Motorsports/HPD will provide specific support at each event to increase driver learning; including key race engineers and championship drivers from Acura and Honda global motorsports.

Taylor Hagler GT3 Academy Cameron

As part of the program, drivers will be invited to American Honda for introduction to key executive members of Honda’s North American operations, visit the Honda Museum in Torrance, California, and receive a tour of the Honda Performance Development facility in Valencia, California. Drivers will also receive Acura Motorsports gear including a personalized driving suit. As factory development drivers, members will be given the opportunity to be promoted by HPD and Acura Motorsports and attend key promotional events, including paddock access at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Program Costs:  $125,000/driver (not including IMSA Encore). Deposit required upon application acceptance.

Includes: Test days support, track rental, tires, fuel, vehicle mileage, insurance, meals at the track, and drivers suit

Not included:  Travel cost, lodging, parts damage up to deductible

Crash damage insurance:

Terms of coverage - $30,000 deductible/$150,000 maximum (per incident). Driver is responsible for costs below deductible and above maximum coverage.

If you are interested in applying for the academy please contact:

Lee Niffenegger, Program Manager  Email: