The No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) Acura NSX GT3 driver pairing of Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman will start fourth for Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, the second race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship “Sprint Cup.”
The 15-minute qualifying session displayed the close competition in the IMSA GTD field with the top four separated by just a half of a second.
Farnbacher turned his first laps around Mid-Ohio during the previous IMSA event which resulted in a strong second place finish. This weekend, the roles are reversed as Hindman learned the streets of Belle Isle for the very first time on Friday. Fortunately, he had a good tutor as Farnbacher has a winning record on the bumpy street circuit.
It’s been seven years since Hindman last drove on a street course but that proved to be no challenge for the young talent as he came up to speed during Friday’s two practice runs. The final 110-minute practice session set the stage for qualifying as both Farnbacher and Hindman maximized their time in the MSR Acura NSX completing 68 total laps ahead of qualifying.
Having had several years of success in Detroit, including two wins – one of which was with MSR last season, Farnbacher is hoping to continue that trend this weekend.
Set for qualifying duties, Hindman wheeled the No. 86 Acura NSX, completing his fourth qualifying attempt for MSR this season. A fast lap time of 1:30.242-seconds put him fourth in the order for Sports Car Classic
“Learning the track and having to qualify all in one day wasn’t as challenging as I expected,” said Hindman. “I am surrounded by great, experienced teammates that I can learn so much from. It was a great qualifying run and we have a great shot at getting a win tomorrow. Mario (Farnbacher) and I are still looking for some balance in our car but it will be okay for race day. No one had a chance to breathe today so now we have some quiet time until warm up in the morning and we will look deeper into the car and make some changes. Hopefully, we end up on the podium tomorrow but being on the top step would be the best.”
Heinricher Racing Will Start on the Front Row in Detroit
Christina Nielsen qualified third in the No. 57 Caterpillar Acura NSX GT3 but will start second after the pole-sitting car was moved to the rear of the GTD field for failing the post-qualifying technical inspection. Nielsen is sharing driving duties with Katherine Legge for Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic. After posting the fastest lap during practice session one and the second-fastest time in practice two, Legge and Nielsen found a solid balance that showed in Friday evening qualifying.
The strong start to the weekend sets the stage for the 100-minute grand prix on Saturday afternoon. Legge is looking to defend her title after winning the race in 2017 and 2018 and Nielsen has finished on the Detroit podium three times. They are looking to continue that momentum with Heinricher Racing.
“I have been really amazed with how well the team has done,” said Nielsen. “For two years I was on the competing side, watching the Acura be strong but especially with one lap pace and tire degradation. Now I get to drive it and it is such a pleasure. Heinricher Racing and Meyer Shank Racing did a great job setting up the car today. We missed it a bit with the tire pressures for qualifying but it is hard to find the sweet spot. A big thank you to the team for providing me with a car that is a pleasure to drive.”
Source. Sunday Group