Pataskala, Ohio (12 December 2019) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) has finalized its driver lineup for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. Joining Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry in the No. 86 AutoNation Acura NSX GT3, Jules Gounon will drive for the team at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Shinya Michimi has joined the team for all four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup (IMEC) rounds.
The Japanese American, Michimi, will be making his first race start on board the Acura NSX GT3 platform as be builds on a wide range of sports car experience in his young career.
Michimi first competed in the Super Trofeo North American series in 2015. After his inaugural year, Michimi was selected for Lamborghini’s Junior Driver Program for the 2016 season where we went on to claim six wins on the way to securing the 2016 North American Super Trofeo Championship.
For the past year Michimi has been competing in Japan in the Super GT Series in the GT300 class as well as in the Super Taikyu Series where he won the 5 Hours of Motegi. Michimi closed out the 2019 season with a GTD class outing in the IMSA WeatherTech season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
“I’m really excited to get an opportunity to race for Meyer Shank Racing in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rounds in the 86 Acura this year,” said Michimi. “I’ve been a long time fan of the team dating back to the iconic Orange and Blue Riley DP days, so I really can’t thank everyone enough for this amazing opportunity. I competed in this year’s Motul Petit Le Mans, so I’m prepared to become a sponge and learn as much as I can from all the members of the team and drivers in order to be able to deliver the best performance I possibly can. Once again, I can’t thank everyone at Meyer Shank Racing enough for giving me this opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to getting started at the Roar.”
Completing MSR’s 2020 Rolex 24 driver roster is French racing driver, Gounon. Gounon has competed in nearly ever major endurance race, Stateside and abroad. Making his Rolex 24 debut in 2017, Gounon nearly claimed a win, but came up just two-tenths of a second short of winning a new watch as he finished runner up.
2017 marked a big year for the Frenchman as he clinched the ADAC GT Masters championship and won the 24 Hours of Spa that same year. Participating in the 12 Hours of Bathurst twice and then making, and finishing his first 24 Hours of Le Mans in GTE Pro earlier this year, Gounon has a strong endurance racing career. Gounon was selected as official factory Bentley Motorsports driver since 2018.
“I’m really excited to be racing for Meyer Shank Racing in the Rolex 24,” said Gounon. “For me, MSR is one of the best teams in the US, so I am really proud that Mike Shank chose me and I’m really looking forward to putting all of my effort toward helping the team and to help Mario and Matt start the season off strong. I have unfinished business with Daytona, so that is why I am really excited to come back.”
The 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona will not be Gounon’s first time competing behind the wheel of the Acura NSX GT3.
“It’s actually not my first time driving the NSX, I drove for RealTime in the 8 Hours of California in 2017,” said Gounon.” I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car. I am also very grateful to Bentley Motorsports for allowing me to race the Rolex 24.”
The IMSA season will kick off on Jan 3-5 at Daytona International Speedway for the annual Roar Before the 24.