24 Hours of Le Mans and Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Joey Hand will join the No. 57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Hand will fill in for full-season Heinricher Racing driver Alvaro Parente who will be racing at Paul Ricard.
Hand will join Misha Goikhberg and endurance driver Trent Hindman to close out the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Hand brings an extensive range of experience onboard GT and Prototype class machinery to the effort as he prepares to make his GT-Daytona debut with Heinricher Racing next weekend.
Hand originally forged his racing career in the open wheel ranks before moving to sports cars. That history has seen Hand cross paths with Mike Shank through the years as he looks forward to his first-ever start with the team.
“I go way back with Mike (Shank),” said Hand. “We raced against each other in Formula Atlantics and have always talked about putting a deal together, and it finally happened.”
Hand has a history that includes everything from karts to DTM, but the Sebring outing will mark his first time utilizing an ABS-equipped race car in over a decade.
“The last time I really ran ABS was back when I ran BMW with Tom Milner and PTG Racing,” said Hand. “I was able to work with some of the German guys that they brought over to the states who tuned the ABS for us. I always say that my third lap is my best lap so I’m not too worried about getting adapted quickly to all of the new factors. I’ve driven almost everything there is, so it shouldn’t be too big of a challenge for me.”
When it comes to preparing for his debut in the Acura NSX GT3, Hand has relied on longtime friend, and 2018/2019 Meyer Shank Racing driver, Justin Marks for feedback and advice heading into the race weekend.
“I watched the Acura last year, specifically at Sebring when Justin (Marks) ran the car,” said Hand. “We talked a lot about handling and how the balance of the car was on that track. The team engineers have also been a huge help in getting me prepared. They’ve sent over a ton of data and I’ve been focusing on the little stuff – where all of the buttons are and how the steering wheel is – because once you have that all down, then everything else should be pretty easy.”
Hand will take his first official laps onboard the No. 57 Acura NSX GT3 on Thursday, November 12th at Sebring International Raceway. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will close out the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday November 14th
Source. Sunday Group