Lexington, Ohio (4 May 2019) – After seeing just about every season over the course of a few hours on Saturday morning, it all came down to qualifying which saw Trent Hindman drive the No. 86 AutoNation / Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) Acura NSX GT3 to tenth for Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio (Live NBCSN 1:30pm ET).
The No. 86 Acura got off to a quick start with Hindman and Mario Farnbacher putting the pink Acura on the top of the timing sheets for the first and third practice rounds.
Strong pace during the final practice session on Saturday set the Acura up for a solid result during qualifying.
Just moments ahead of qualifying the track’s conditions went from wet to dry and it became a last-minute decision for tire strategy. With decades of experience at the track, the team anticipated the conditions would continue and went for Michelin rain tires. Unfortunately, a surprise break in the weather teamed with a rising wind meant that the track dried with every lap. With IMSA rules not allowing any changes to the cars, including tires, the gambit didn’t pay off as the rain tires proved to be the slower option.
“I feel for our Meyer Shank Racing team because we all thought it was going to remain damp during that session and collectively we thought we were making the right call on our tire strategy,” said Hindman. “As Mid-Ohio does, it’ll throw you for a loop and the track dried way faster than we had expected. Either way I know we have a fantastic car in the dry, we proved it in practice. And I know we have a fantastic car in wet conditions as well. We are going to have some work to do at the start of the race tomorrow, but I have no doubts that our AutoNation / MSR Acura NSX GT3 is going to make a charge to the front.”
The No. 86 MSR Acura had changed its livery for the Mid-Ohio race weekend, displaying a new pink paint scheme joining in on AutoNation’s ‘Drive Pink’ campaign in the fight against breast cancer. MSR also has its homecoming with tomorrow’s race marking the 13th time that the team has raced at its home track in sports car competition.
“Qualifying was a little bit disappointing today,” said Mike Shank. “The weather changed so quickly and we talked as a team and really thought it would be best to stay on wets. Although it’s not an ideal starting spot we have some good pace in both the wet and dry and Mario and Trent have been knocking it out of the park so far this weekend.”
The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio will be broadcast live on NBCSN at 1:30pm ET on Sunday.