Coming off of the IMSA WeatherTech endurance weekend at Watkins Glen International with a TPNAEC Round 3 win and a GTD podium, the Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) squad will make a quick turnaround for the sprint weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) this weekend, Round 6 of the GTD IMSA season..
MSR is heading into the CTMP weekend closing in on the championship lead, just one point shy of first. The No. 93 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 and No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing / SiriusXM Canada Acura NSX GT3 GTDs focus on results heading into the two hour and 40-minute Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.
Meyer Shank Racing has made a run to the podium in both IMSA Prototype and GTD competition at CTMP – with a third place finish in 2015 and a second place finish in 2017 – but will now be aiming for the top step with its two-car Acura NSX line up.
Entering the weekend with a strong record at the 2.459-mile natural terrain road course, Lawson Aschenbach will be looking to make yet another run to the podium and give MSR its first victory at the Canadian circuit. Earlier this year Aschenbach stormed the World Challenge field by snatching back-to-back victories in the GTS category at CTMP. He also is the current PWC track GTS record holder for both qualifying lap and race lap.
Aschenbach’s winning record at CTMP includes the IMSA ranks as he gave the Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS its first victory of the season last year after leading 69 laps.
“I am looking forward to going back to Canadian Tire,” said Aschenbach. “It will be a good rebound on track for us. This car seems to be quite good in high speed sections at Watkins Glen so I think it will translate over. I have had a good recent streak of events there so I am very optimistic heading into the weekend. It will be a matter of managing traffic especially with the aero push in these cars and making sure we stay out of the pits with good strategy. If we can qualify well and run up front we will have a good chance of winning the race.”
Combining with Aschenbach is Justin Marks, who will be making his return to the CTMP circuit after last competing there in 2006 where he scored a top-ten finish. Marks’ quick adaptation to the Acura NSX GT3 platform will be an asset to the team as it makes a quick turnaround from the Six Hours of the Glen into the CTMP race weekend. Marks will also carry the extra motivation of the frustrating Glen outing that saw him crashed out of the lead of the race by a prototype.
“It’s been a long time a long time since I have been to CTMP but I am looking forward to it since it is an iconic circuit with high speeds that take a lot of courage to go fast,” said Marks. “I have no reason to believe that we won’t have good pace there there since we have been good on every single track we have gone to this year. It’s going to be a unique challenge but this team is so awesome.”
Also joining the MSR squad will be Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente in the No. 86 SiriusXM Canada Aura NSX GT3 entry. With the recent announcement of SiriusXM Canada joining the team for the CTMP race weekend, the No. 86 will continue its hunt in the GTD championship as it currently sits just one point behind the lead with 154-points.
The combination of Legge’s run to the podium last year in the Acura NSX and Parente’s big win earlier this year in PWC will be a recipe for a solid result heading into Round 6 of IMSA competition.
“I absolutely love Canadian Tire Motorsport Park,” said Legge. “The car is really good there and we had a podium last year. So hopefully we can ride this momentum from Watkins Glen to CTMP and get a win to put us ahead in the championship.”
“I have already raced at CTMP earlier this year which hopefully will help going into the IMSA race there,” said Parente. “I think we will have a really good shot at another podium finish. The team has been doing a great job at giving us a solid car and doing quick pit stops, so as long as we can continue that we will do well this weekend.”
Source. Sunday Group