2020 marks the 17th straight Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona for reigning IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar GTD Champions, Meyer Shank Racing (MSR). A new lineup of drivers will take over the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 for the twice around the clock event on starting on Saturday, January 25.
Leading the charge as veteran driver and defending IMSA GTD champion, Mario Farnbacher will be returning for his third season with MSR onboard the Acura NSX GT3. The 2019 GTD champion is paired with the 2019 IMSA LMP2 champion, Matt McMurry. Joining them for the four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup event is Japanese driver, Shinya Michimi and rounding out the Rolex 24 lineup is French endurance racing ace, Jules Gounon.
McMurry and Gounon already have a strong familiarity of the Acura NSX GT3 having driven behind the wheel of the the platform in international competition in previous years. McMurry competed in the 2019 European Blancpain Endurance Series onboard the Acura NSX GT3 and Gounon competed in the 8 Hours of California with the RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3.
Representing four different countries and with an average age of just 25, the MSR pairing has their eyes set on some new wrist ware come Sunday.
Joining forces for the first time earlier in the month for the Roar Before the 24, the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 showed considerable speed to start the season off strong. McMurry put the Acura on the front row for provisional qualifying which set pit and garage locations for the Rolex 24.
Team & Driver Quotes:
Mike Shank, MSR co-owner
“We’re coming off a really strong season and we want to make sure we keep that momentum going. The Roar we had some really great pace – actually some of the best balance we have had at Daytona in years so that’s promising. The 86 guys have adapted well together and that translates to their performance in the car and hopefully gets these guys a new watch at the end of the weekend.”
“Our driver lineup is great and we are working well together. We have the same goal when it comes to the race – finish on the podium. We all need more seat time during the practice sessions but we feel good about our chances. I am looking forward to the race and pushing ourselves for those fancy Rolex watches.”
“The Roar went really well for us and everyone that was new to the car got up to speed really quickly. Everyone seems really comfortable and is working well together. The car has felt great and has been handling really well. We got a good qualifying position for our pit lane spot which hopefully will help us for the race, but I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”
“We were quite quick during the Roar and were at the top of the timing sheets the whole time. I had never driven this car before the Roar but I feel like I have become quite comfortable in it. It’s been great and really balanced which will be important for a 24 hour race. I’m really excited for the race, and my first Rolex 24, and I think we have a really good shot at winning.”
“We worked a lot on the set up during the Roar and I think we showed our potential with qualifying during the Roar. We will push again this weekend to get another good starting spot for the race. I’m really happy to be with Meyer Shank Racing, the car is really nice and I’m really proud to be driving with Mario, Matt and Shinya. They all have done a great job all weekend. I’m really looking forward to the Rolex and I I’m hoping to fill the empty spot on my wrist.”
Source. Sunday Group