Signing a young up and coming American talent along with one that has already seen success on the international stage, Michael Shank Racing has finalized its driver roster for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener at Daytona.
Côme Ledogar will combine with Lawson Aschenbach, Justin Marks and Mario Farnbacher in the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 for the 2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona, while young Trent Hindman has joined the team to partner with Alvaro Parente, Katherine Legge and AJ Allmendinger in the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.
Ledogar, who will be making his IMSA racing debut at the Rolex, first forged his name in one-make competition, scoring the 2014 French Carrera Cup Championship with six wins and six pole positions. The Frenchman built on that success with an additional two championships in 2016, clinching the Blancpain Endurance Series and Porsche Carrera Cup Italia.
With a 2017 that included a run to the podium in the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour event, Ledogar will look to get his 2018 racing season off to a fast start with Michael Shank Racing.
“I am really excited to be joining Michael Shank Racing,” said Ledogar. “Driving with MSR means a new challenge for me but with a very experienced team with one of the best reputations in the paddock. I think the Acura NSX GT3 will suit me well since it is a brand new mid-engine car; which is the same set up that I have been driving the previous two years.”
At only 22-years old, Hindman’s career has blossomed with a breakout year in 2017. The New Jersey native scored victories in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition, clinched the Lamborghini Super Trofeo (LST) North American Championship as well as scored a major Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final win at Imola. He also impressed in his triple-duty weekend at VIRginia International Raceway, racing in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, winning the LST race, and securing a podium finish in his first-ever IMSA WeatherTech GTD race outing.
With the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC) in his sights, Hindman will race the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 in the Rolex 24 as well as the Sebring 12 Hour, Sahlen’s Six Hour, and the Petit Le Mans.
“Michael Shank Racing is one of the elite teams in IMSA so it was an honor to be presented with this opportunity,” said Hindman. “Running with Mike (Shank) and the Acura NSX GT3 is really a chance that I think all drivers in general, not just younger guys like myself, would immediately jump into without any hesitation. I want to thank Mike, the entire MSR team, and Honda Performance Development for their faith in me as a driver and I certainly hope to deliver for them.”
Not only is Hindman looking to provide the team with results throughout the TPNAEC season, but he will also look to lessons learned from the many years of experience that the team has racked up.
“MSR is a team that’s got a fantastic history of helping young drivers recognize their full potential,” said Hindman. “I certainly want to take full advantage of that quality as well as hopefully being able to provide as much knowledge and experience as I possibly can in order to make the most of this program. I think it’s also very important to enjoy this opportunity as much as possible, as not many drivers get a shot like this.”
With the stacked lineup finalized, Michael Shank Racing is eager to set the pace for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, where the stable of eight drivers will challenge for a victory. The Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off on January 26th.
Michael Shank Racing Rolex 24 At Daytona Driver Lineup
Lawson Aschenbach No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
Justin Marks No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
Mario Farnbacher No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
Côme Ledogar No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
Alvaro Parente No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
Katherine Legge No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
Trent Hindman No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
AJ Allmendinger No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
Source. Sunday Group