Sebring, Fla. (16 March 2019) – A powerful run in rapidly changing conditions saw the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo lead 60 laps of the 67th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday in round two of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Despite strong pace and team execution, an unfortunate late race penalty brought the car down the order to finish seventh at Sebring International Raceway on Saturday.
Meyer Shank Racing drivers Trent Hindman, Mario Farnbacher and Justin Marks saw early success at the Sebring event weekend with Hindman putting the No. 86 Acura on pole for the start of the 12-hour endurance event on Friday.
With torrential rains on race day morning yet again plaguing another IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship race, Hindman started under single file, yellow flag conditions. The field ran under yellow for 12 laps before officially going green.
Hindman put the Acura’s rain capabilities on display as he put on a display with a powerful charge to the lead for 26 laps between his first two stints. By Lap 32 Hindman’s impressive pace had generated a 79-second lead on the field and brought the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 to tenth overall, out pacing several GTLM machines.
A Lap 35 driver change put Marks behind the wheel where he continued on to lead the No. 86 Acura for an additional 18 laps.
Farnbacher kept the car within podium contention and with the No. 86 crew performing lightning quick pit stops, the No. 86 had stayed within the top five for 102 laps through the halfway mark. In podium contention with two and a half hours to go, the No. 86 was hit with a drive through penalty which disrupted the team’s plans for advancing further up the field.
Farnbacher made an incredible jump at the final restart with just 10-minutes remaining to improve to the top five, but settled with a seventh-place finish after some fierce fighting to the finish.
Eager to convert the impressive potential of the new Acura NSX GT3 Evo into podium results, MSR will head to its home track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the third round of IMSA competition in May.
“The 86 guys had a really strong car on their hands. Starting on the pole positioned Trent, Mario and Justin well for the race. They stayed up at the top of the field for the majority of the race but unfortunately were hit with that penalty at the end which brought us back down. We had all of the tools to have a great finish, but it just wasn’t there for us today.”
“We had a great car all day and were really strong in clean air. We need to work on the car in traffic, but that’s where we’re balanced right now. But the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo was really strong in the rain, just hooked up. Once conditions dried out and once we got into the evening, the car was really fast. But the drive through was a real shame – it wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was a combination of a bunch of things for it to go wrong. But I’m proud to be a part of this team and to share this car with Mario and Justin. We’ll come back stronger at Mid-Ohio.”
“The car definitely performed much better as the temperatures got cooler. I tried my best at the end to get around the (No. 33) Mercedes, but I just couldn’t quite get by. The final restart was pretty intense and I knew that we had nothing to lose at that point. The crew worked so hard and I wish I could have given them a better result, but we will come back strong at Mid-Ohio.”
“This race is so hard to win; everything has to go your way perfectly. I made some mistakes and we had an unfortunate pit situation late in the race and had to serve a penalty and that killed our race at the end. You can’t have those things happen if you’re going to win. But the team did a great job and the car was fast all weekend and that bodes well for the rest of the season. But today just wasn’t our day.”