MSR secures second in IMSA GT Daytona championship standings
Braselton, Ga. (13 October 2018) – With an IMSA WeatherTech Championship on the line and ten hours of flatout racing to take on, Meyer Shank Racing arrived at Road Atlanta ready to do battle with its two car Acura NSX GT3 line up.
After battling through several setbacks through the record-setting race, the No. 86 MSR Acura NSX GT3 closed the 2018 season with a second-place finish in both the Motul Petit Le Mans and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
What originally started as a Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC)-only race program, developed into a full-season campaign to fight for the championship title.
After completing every lap of every race this season – totaling 2,374 laps – and leading 202 of them brought the team a well-earned second place in the IMSA GT Daytona Championship.
The No. 86 MSR Acura NSX GT3 had several flawless pit stops during the Motul Petit Le Mans, two of which saw the entry leapfrog other competitors in pit lane. The closing hour of the race saw Parente lay it all on the table as he came within 0.876-seconds of the lead at the finish of the 10-hour event.
The No. 86 entry of Legge and Parente also ended the season with two TPNAEC round wins at Daytona International Speedway and Watkins Glen.
Unfortunately, after a strong qualifying run had the team looking forward to a big race result, the Road Atlanta finale featured bad luck for the No. 93 MSR Acura NSX GT3 entry of Lawson Aschenbach, Justin Marks, and Mario Farnbacher. The trio had promising pace that saw it gain advantage during a lap 80 pit stop on the way to spending 39 laps in the top three.
But that podium run went astray just over the four hour mark as the No. 93 machine began losing oil pressure which brought the car to pit lane. The crew quickly found the source of the oil leak, but would be unable to resolve the issue and was forced to retire the car.
The 2018 season may be over but it is far from an off season as the team plans to participate in several tests ahead of the 2019 Roar Before the 24 event in January. MSR announced on Friday its plans for an all-female line up in the No. 57 MSR Acura NSX GT3 of Katherine Legge, Jackie Heinricher, Simone De Silvestro and Ana Beatriz.
Meyer Shank Racing Motul Petit Le Mans Driver Quotes:
Katherine Legge, No. 86 MSR Acura NSX GT3: “I am incredibly proud of the effort that my MSR team put forth this year. I’m disappointed not to get the title, but to finish on a high note, on the podium at Petit, is no easy feat. Alvaro drove a great final stint and really gave it his all. Trent also did a fantastic job, he probably had the hardest job out of all of us, coming in as the endurance driver but he really put us in great positions. This year has been really special and it gives us a good launching pad for 2019.”
Alvaro Parente, No. 86 MSR Acura NSX GT3: “That last stint was really tough and I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t get the win for the team. We had some trouble with a couple of cars in other classes which really hurt us in the end. I gave it my all, but I just wish I could have gotten the win for the guys. This year has been great and MSR and Mike (Shank) are amazing to work with and I’m glad to have had this opportunity.”
Trent Hindman, No. 86 MSR Acura NSX GT3: “It is bittersweet. I’m thrilled for myself personally, it’s been an honor to be a part of the Meyer Shank Racing team, and an honor to work with Katherine (Legge) and Alvaro (Parente). To walk away from my second Petit Le Mans with a second-place finish, I’m thrilled. But the other half of me is gutted, knowing what we missed out on. We were so close to the win, but not just that, we were so close to getting Katherine, Acura and Honda/HPD the championship. At the end of the day, everyone should be proud of what they’ve done and what they accomplished this year. They started out with a program for the endurance races and with all the hard work from Mike Shank and the team they managed to bring it all together and get Katherine and all of us in for a full season. It’s a pleasure to work with this crew.”
Lawson Aschenbach, No. 93 MSR Acura NSX GT3: “Justin (Marks) did a great job in the stint before me, the car was running well, and we were in the top five, running hard and being smart with the car. The plan was just to keep doing what we were doing. Everyone was firing on all cylinders this weekend. But I could tell early in my first stint that the car didn’t seem the same. I hung on the best I could, but I thought there must be something broken, since I was feeling something I had not felt before. Sadly, it’s the way these things go sometimes. It’s been a rough year, we’ve shown flashes of brilliance, but we haven’t been able to capitalize on that. It stings a little bit, I’ll remember this for a while but it’s also one that will give me a lot of fire to keep pushing during the off season and hopefully come back even stronger next year.”
Justin Marks, No. 93 MSR Acura NSX GT3: “The name of the game was trying to manage the fall-off of the car. I was optimistic coming into the race that we would be able to do a pretty good job of that, and we did. The car was fine, we were just making laps and trying to keep the fenders clean and stay in a position to fight late in the race. It was a good stint, we did what we had to do early in the race. It’s unfortunate to have ended the season this way, but that’s racing sometimes.”
Mario Farnbacher, No. 93 MSR Acura NSX GT3: “I feel very sorry for the team, we had a good car for the race. Qualifying was good, we built our hopes on that, but it was a struggle early on and the car wasn’t behaving the way we expected. It was a long way to the end, we could have made small changes and found the sweet spot again for the last hours of the night and the final showdown, but it’s so unfortunate to have the oil leak. It’s disappointing for the whole team.”