After fighting to an eighth place finish during the Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 of Meyer Shank Racing secured the IMSA WeatherTech Team Sprint Cup Championship title on Sunday with drivers Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher.
Hindman lead the field on the front row at the green flag, sliding into second place for the first 10 laps of the race. Hindman excelled through tricky conditions maneuvering through faster DPi traffic during his stint.
The team made a strategy call to keep the No. 86 AutoNation Acura NSX out on track for a longer first stint with the anticipation of a yellow flag. Hindman was called into pit lane 58 minutes in for a full service stop with Farnbacher taking over.
But a race that went without caution did not favor the championship leading team’s strategy to move forward through the field. Farnbacher made his final stop with one hour and two minutes remaining, but unfortunately ran over pit lane equipment on his exit which brought the German back into pit lane for a drive through penalty.
Battling with quickly deteriorating tires, Farnbacher held on to bring home eighth.
The eighth place finish gave Meyer Shank Racing the first-ever IMSA GTD Team Sprint Cup Championship title. The No. 86 Autonation Acura NSX GT3 is provisionally 32 points (264-232) ahead in the championship lead heading into the October 12th season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
“It wasn’t an ideal day for us with the drive-through penalty and considering the tire degradation, which was greater than we were anticipating. We just never really had a chance in practice and do a long run to see where we were at, so we had to find out in the race. But as always, it was an incredible job by the Meyer Shank Racing team. We pretty much threw the book at the car this weekend, but we had a hard time finding a happy medium between one-lap speed and long run balance, so that hurt us in the race. We couldn’t have done it without everyone from AutoNation, Acura, and Meyer Shank Racing. The NSX is a good car and it’s up to us to get everything out of it and we just didn’t do that today.”
“We struggled all weekend to find the right setup. We changed the setup completely three times over the weekend so when we were going into the race we weren’t totally sure what to expect especially on the long runs. In the beginning of my stint I was driving really hard to keep Bryan Sellers behind me to try and stay on the lead lap, but I used up a lot of my tires doing that. That last stint was the longest stint so I just tried to be consistent and take it easy on the tires. But we will keep our focus on the big picture with the overall championship heading into Road Atlanta.”
“This was a tough weekend. We tried several different setups to get the Acura balanced but nothing seemed to be working well for us. The guys and the crew did a really great job to keep their heads down and keep focused but now our main concern will be to keep that championship lead after the season finale.”
Source. Sunday Group