Daytona Beach Fla. (9 January 2018) – The Heinricher Racing Caterpillar all-female led No. 57 Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) Acura NSX GT3 Evo set the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday after the Brazilian driver, Bia Figueiredo posted a 1:45.537-second flyer in her first-ever qualifying effort in the Acura NSX.
Heinricher Racing featured its all-female line up in the No. 57 MSR Acura NSX GT3 Evo led by Katherine Legge, Bia Figueiredo, Simona De Silvestro and two-time IMSA champion, Christina Nielsen. Jackie Heinricher, driver and team principal was originally set to contest the Rolex 24, was sidelined due to an injury and return to contest the remainder of the season.
The season opening test was the first with the newest Acura NSX GT3 Evo body kit along with the new-for-2019 Michelin tire. The No. 57 Acura finished in the top five in three of the five sessions.
With the qualifying session being utilized by IMSA to make pit and garage assignments for the 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Figueiredo laid down a 1:45.537-second lap which placed her on pole at the end of the 15-minute session.
Figueiredo, who has raced in open wheel as well as Brazilian Stock Car competition, adapted to the GT3 platform quickly.
“Having this dream and vision and seeing all of the talented drivers come together for the first time at the Roar was extraordinary,” said Heinricher. “To see Bia put the car on pole for the team solidifies the Heinricher Racing Caterpillar No. 57 for the run at the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona and an exciting season ahead. As a close knit team we are all incredibly driven to win and with Bia earning pole validates the significance of our effort with the right drivers, team and partners.”
“It shows how competitive we are and I’m very happy for the 57 car,” said Figueiredo. “This is my first time racing here (Daytona), though I drove at the Roar in 2014, which was a good opportunity to learn the track. There is a lot of attention on us right now, being an all-female team, but this is one of the best teams I’ve been on, with drivers who have won and earned podiums in many different series. It’s a very competitive team, a very strong team, and it’s been really fun. Thank you so much to the Heinricher Racing partnership and Meyer Shank for the opportunity.”
“This was the first weekend that all of the drivers of the 57 car were together and I don’t think it could have gone much better,” said Mike Shank. “Everyone adapted very well and Katherine (Legge) has been a great resource for everyone, especially with her knowledge of the NSX. I couldn’t have asked for much more with Bia scoring the pole, that was the confidence we needed to start on the right track.”
The Heinricher Racing all-female team and MSR No. 57 Acura NSX GT3 Evo will be back in action at the season opening race for the 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-26.