MSR returns to defend 2019 Championship title
Daytona Beach, Fla. (5 January 2019) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) finished three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway during the annual Roar Before the 24 this weekend. The test lays the groundwork for the IMSA season opener, the Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month (January 24-26) as the team prepares for a successful defense of its 2019 GTD Championship.
Mario Farnbacher (German), Matt McMurry (American), Shinya Michimi (Japanese) and Jules Gounon (French) combined for the first time together in the No. 86 AutoNation Acura NSX GT3. A quick synergy brought the talented and multi-cultural young group – with an average age of 25 – together right from the start.
Despite a lineup of new drivers, experience in the Acura NSX is abundant. Farnbacher has raced with MSR the past two years in the NSX, McMurry competed in the European Blancpain Endurance series behind the wheel of an NSX and Gounon competed in the 2017 edition of the 8 Hours of California in the RealTime Racing Acura NSX.
The No. 86 AutoNation Acura NSX rolled out of the trucks strong, finishing out the first day of practice P4 – out of 18 GTD cars – with Farnbacher setting the day’s fastest lap time of 1:47.824-seconds.
Saturday staged two additional practice sessions before an important qualifying run to set pit stalls and garage locations for the Rolex 24 later this month. McMurry made his first qualifying run of the year, posting the second fastest time of the session of 1:46.873-seconds and just one tenth off of pole position.
“That was a really good qualifying session and we lucked out with the rain just missing us,” said McMurry. “Everything came together really smoothly. My teammate Trent (Hindman) went out in front of me and we worked together. I think this will get us a good garage and pit location for the Rolex. Overall it’s been a solid weekend for us.”
“This weekend has been going well for us,” said Mike Shank. “The 86 guys have gotten along really well so far and that translates on track. It’s important for us to start off the year strong so that we can have a good baseline for the Rolex.”
Meyer Shank Racing will return to Daytona International Speedway in just three weeks for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 23-26.
Rolex 24 Hours TV Schedule:
NBC 1:30-2:30pm ET
NBCSN 2:00-6:00pm ET
NBCSN App 6:00-11:00pm ET
NBCSN 11:00pm-3:00am ET
NBCSN App 3:00-6:00am ET
NBCSN 6:00am-12:30pm ET
NBC 12:00-2:00pm ET