One-one hundredth of a second. That is all that separated Mario Farnbacher from taking the Lime Rock victory for Meyer Shank Racing on Saturday. The second place finish during the Northeast Grand Prix now provisionally extends Meyer Shank Racing’s IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship lead to 30 points.
The No. 86 AutoNation Acura NSX GT3 of Farnbacher and Trent Hindman got off to a fast start after Hindman scored pole position – the third so far this year. His lap time of 51.456-seconds placed him on the point for the start of the Northeast Grand Prix later Saturday afternoon.
Clearly unfazed by the intense temperatures and humidity, Hindman led for all 64 laps of his starting stint before turning the car over to Farnbacher.
Focusing on managing tires was important to gain an advantage in the closing hour of the race. Farnbacher made his final pit stop on Lap 110 with just over an hour left, holding the lead for an additional 66 laps. After eliminating the 11-second gap to the leader and retaking the lead, Farnbacher’s run to victory lane was quickly taken away as a bottleneck of lapped traffic forced him to check up and fall back to second place.
An incredible sprint to the finish saw Farnbacher make every move possible to regain the lead including a last lap dive into turn three. A drag race to the finish line brought Farnbacher just 0.010-seconds away from a second team victory.
“Unfortunately, it is a bitter feeling to lose the win, but that is racing,” said Farnbacher. “A big thank you to Mike (Shank), Acura, and Honda HPD for an amazing car. The last couple laps were intense. My drink bottle was empty and we did not have air conditioning in the car so I was fighting until the end. I had to push going 110% to try and get the position back. It didn’t work but I am happy with second place and our extension of championship points.”
“Our main focus is the championship,” said Hindman. “It is a bit disappointing we didn’t come home with a win but Mario (Farnbacher) did an unbelievable job. The Meyer Shank Racing crew gave us an amazing car. This team can fight for a championship because we mitigate the factors that are outside of our control. A big thank you to the MSR crew and Acura for giving us a car that is capable of a championship fight. We have four more opportunities to bring home more wins.”
After leading for 131 of 178 laps, Meyer Shank Racing has maintained the points lead with a provisional 30-point advantage heading into Road America.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from Mario at the end there,” said Mike Shank. “He drove an incredible race. Lime Rock is a tough track because of how short it is and it’s easy to get caught in traffic. Unfortunately he got the short end of the stick but he fought until the very end. We still have the championship lead which is our main focus.”
The next IMSA WeatherTech race will head to Road America on August 2-4.
Source. Sunday Group