The annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 weekend gave the Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) program the chance to show how much off-season work the team has put in ahead of the Rolex 24 Hour event with the Trent Hindman posting the third quickest time during Saturday’s qualifying run for pit and garage assignments.
Coming into the event with a strong stable of well-established talents on the driver roster, Meyer Shank Racing was confident as it debuted the all-new Acura NSX GT3 Evo ahead of the team’s third season of racing with the NSX platform.
MSR welcomed the return of four familiar faces in the No. 86 MSR/LaSalle Solutions Acura NSX GT3 Evo. Mario Farnbacher, Trent Hindman, Justin Marks and AJ Allmendinger combined after having all ran with MSR last season.
The 86 car has a strong history at the Rolex event with Allmendinger and Marks both scoring wins at the annual event along with Hindman and Allmendinger scoring a big second place finish at last year’s edition of the Rolex 24 with MSR.
The season opening event was the first lengthy test with the newest Acura NSX Evo body kit along with the new-for-2019 Michelin tire. The team also welcomed LaSalle Solutions onboard the No. 86 machine for the Roar and Rolex 24 weekends.
Those combined changes gave MSR the speed and consistency to set the bar high has Hindman set the third fastest time – 1:45.657-seconds – for pit and garage assignments during the Saturday afternoon session.
Hindman will be making his first full season IMSA effort with MSR and started the season off strong at the Roar as he pulled double duty driving in both the IMSA WeatherTech and Michelin Pilot Challenge series.
“Qualifying today was another opportunity to learn more about this Acura NSX GT3 Evo and continue to make improvements on our car,” said Hindman of his third-place run. “It’s great to see both Meyer Shank Racing cars in the top five. I think that bodes well for us when we come back and qualify for the Rolex 24 itself. At the end of the day, both cars performed really well over the last two days and we are feeling prepared to come back strong for the race weekend.”
“The whole program really came together this weekend,” said Mike Shank. “I’m beyond pleased with how everyone has performed. Trent (Hindman) did a great job for us in qualifying and the whole team made a ton of progress with this new car and new tire this weekend. Having all the details right is what you need to win here, so getting good pit spots for our cars is a good step forward for when we come back. We still have some fine tuning to do but we are making strides and more than I could have asked for.”
In just three weeks time, MSR will be back in action at the season opening race for the 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-26.
Source. Sunday Group