Legge wins first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul GTD pole with 1:24.456-second lap
Monterey, Calif. (8 September 2018) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) driver Katherine Legge set a new GTD class track record with the No. 86 MSR Acura NSX GT3 in qualifying on Saturday to claim the Motul Pole Award for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix featuring America’s Tire 250. Legge’s 1:24.456-second lap flyer will see her start alongside the championship-leading No. 48 entry as MSR looks to make a strong close to the 2018 season.
The sister No.93 MSR Acura NSX GT3 qualified by Justin Marks will start from the fifth row for Sunday’s sprint race.
MSR has a strong record at the Monterey-area track, having scored a pole position at the track in 2005, won the race overall in 2016 as well as claimed a podium finish with Acura in 2017.
Co-driving with Alvaro Parente, Legge is just 13-points behind the GTD championship points leaders and will look to utilize her front row starting position to propel her to another strong finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“The car was really great for qualifying,” said Legge, who scored second at Laguna Seca with MSR last year. “I pitted after that lap thinking that was pretty much all I had and to also make sure we looked after the tires for tomorrow. I sat there for a good five minutes hoping that no one went any faster, so that was the hard part. The car I think will be great, we just can’t make any mistakes and Ihope that we can come home with a good finish.”
The first pole of the year was a long time coming for Mike Shank, who praised Legge and the engineers behind the No. 86 car’s speed to get on the front row for tomorrow’s race.
“Katherine has been on it all weekend and I’m super proud of her,” said Shank. “One of her dear friends and students that she teaches just got hurt in the session before so everyone was shook up a little bit. She really put a great lap together, the Acura NSX was really strong today. The strategy that our engineer, Ryan, had leading up to this session was just perfect.”
The sister No. 93 MSR Acura NSX GT3 co-driven by Marks and Lawson Aschenbach will start from the fifth row in tenth for Sunday’s race after struggling for pace early in the weekend.
“I’m disappointed in the qualifying run that we had,” said Marks. “We have been struggling to get good grip here and this track is notoriously known to be a low grip track. I know these guys will work to try and get the set up right for tomorrow.”
The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix featuring America’s Tire 250 event will kick off Sunday at 2:00 pm PST with live coverage on FS1.