Series stalwarts RealTime Racing will return to the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS in 2022 with an Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 and a proven Pro-Am line-up. Erin Vogel, the first woman to win a Pro-Am race in SRO worldwide last year at Virginia International Raceway, will once again team up with Michael Cooper.
“I’m very excited to be working with RealTime and the Acura NSX GT3 program,” Vogel said. “I know Michael Cooper and I are in good hands with RealTime, whose storied history of working with Acura will give so many advantages to the program.”
In addition to her GT World Challenge win last season, Vogel earned three podium finishes and a pole position. The new season brings a change in team and car for the Southern California native, but it will be her third season co-driving with Cooper.
“I’m very fortunate to have found a great mentor in Michael, and we’ve been lucky to continue working together in World Challenge for the past few years,” Vogel added. “I’m ready to show up in 2022 with even more consistency. My goal is to be on the podium every weekend this season, on the top step as much as possible, and consistently running in the top five.”
In more than a decade of racing professionally, Cooper has won multiple World Challenge championships and is fresh off an LMP3-class win in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The New Yorker has raced with RealTime before, filling in at Portland International Raceway in 2018 and finishing fourth and second in a Honda Civic Type R TCR.
“It’s very exciting that Erin and I will be teaming up with RealTime in GT World Challenge,” Cooper said. “The team has quite a winning pedigree and I know how good they are from the years we competed against each other in GT competition. I have some first-hand experience with the team too as I was fortunate enough to drive for them once in recent years.”
RealTime Racing is in its 36th year of professional competition, including 101 wins in World Challenge — most with Honda or Acura vehicles. The team has 15 drivers’ championships and 14 manufacturers’ titles for Acura or Honda since joining World Challenge in 1993. Team principal Peter Cunningham accounts for seven of those titles and holds many World Challenge records. RealTime Racing was responsible for much of the development of the original iteration of the Acura NSX GT3.
“After winning the team championship in Pro-Am in 2019, we weren’t able to put together a program in 2020 for a number of reasons, including COVID,” Cunningham said. “So we’re happy now that we do have a great program for 2022. With this pairing, we will do our best to fight for the Pro-Am championship. I’ve known Erin for a few years and I’ve been a good friend of Michael’s for longer than that. And it worked out where they were wanting to try something new. They have had good experiences in the series these last two seasons as teammates, and for 2022 this seemed like something that they wanted to move forward with. It worked out and the team is really looking forward to to having a successful campaign.”
The Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS season kicks off April 15-17 at Sonoma Raceway. Most of the seven weekends include two races of 90 minutes apiece, with pit stops and driver changes. The series will conclude as part of the Indianapolis 8 Hour in October.