Lexington, Ohio (5 May 2019) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) drivers Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman moved into the provisional IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar GTD class points lead in the No. 86 AutoNation / MSR Acura NSX GT3 with a strong run to second in the two hour and 40-minute Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.
In what seemed like a rerun from the 2018 edition of the Mid-Ohio event, it all came down to a tantalizing last lap battle that saw Farnbacher glued to the rear bumper of the No. 14 car. Making several attempts to pass and giving it his absolute all, Farnbacher took home second place – and the third career podium finish for MSR at Mid-Ohio.
The run was a testament to the hard work of the Meyer Shank Racing squad after a disappointing 10th place qualifying run. But a standout start on Sunday saw Hindman capitalize to move from tenth at the start into the lead by Lap 10.
Once in clean air, Hindman never looked back, expanding his lead to an impressive 40-second advantage before handing the car over to Farnbacher on Lap 50. Farnbacher continued that lead for the following 46 laps – totaling 86 laps led out of 123.
The first and only caution period began on Lap 99 and unfortunately at the restart Farnbacher fell to second but set his sights on winning in front of MSR’s home crowd. It was a sprint to the finish but the team would have to settle with second place.
“We got to the front quickly because it all came down to the Meyer Shank Racing crew,” said Hindman after leading 40 laps. “The AutoNation Acura NSX was awesome. Our lap times proved our ability to run away from the pack and that came from how these guys set up the race car. A big thanks to the MSR crew and my co-driver Mario. I am learning quite a bit from him, even though it’s his first time here. Although we didn’t come out with the win at least we got a lot of points and will look ahead to our next run to keep going.”
“There was nothing left in the car at the end,” said Farnbacher. “We struggled during my stint with lots of understeer – which was made it tougher being behind the other car. We should have won today. I made the wrong choice after the restart by staying on the outside when the better decision was to be on the inside. That mistake I made is the reason we lost today. The only positive thing is that we now have the GTD points lead. The MSR guys did an awesome job today to bring us from 9th to the lead. Unfortunately, I couldn’t close the door with the win for the home race of Meyer Shank and Acura.”
Racing at Mid-Ohio for 13 years in sports car competition, Meyer Shank Racing now has its third podium finish at the 2.4-mile circuit and its 13th podium finish with the Acura NSX GT3 platform.
“I can’t say enough about the performance of Trent and Mario today,” said Mike Shank. “Yesterday was rough with how we qualified, but it just goes to show that we are meant to be in the front of the field. We didn’t win today, but we gave it our all and walked away with a podium finish and the points lead. Now the real work starts.”
Meyer Shank Racing will now turn its full focus on the Month of May starting with the NTT IndyCar Series Indianapolis GP next weekend followed by qualifying and preparations for the Indianapolis 500 on May 26th.