After 10 rounds of IMSA competition, twelve hours of flat out racing on one of the toughest tracks in the country is all that stands between Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) and a second consecutive IMSA GTD championship title.
The 2020 IMSA season has tested MSR in every way possible. Starting off the season with a nearly six month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team returned to competition in July for a second race at Daytona International Speedway.
The team then went on to built a significant 14-point lead in the championship following a big win at the six hour at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The three races that followed proved to be the ultimate test for MSR with contact from other competitors taking the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 out of contention and at one point, down to fourth in the championship.
But after storming victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, MSR heads to Sebring holding the upper hand – leading the championship by seven points (256-249) – MSR drivers Mario Farnbacher, Matt McMurry and Shinya Michimi are aiming for a strong run to the finish on Saturday.
The Farnbacher-McMurry-Michimi trio will once again join forces in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 one final time in 2020. As a two-time winner of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (2015 & 2017) Farnbacher knows what it takes to win at one of the toughest tracks on the calendar. McMurry has yet to claim victory at the 3.74-mile track, but has four race starts at the Sebring twelve hour and also qualified on the LMP2 pole in 2018 and 2019.
Coming in as third driver, Michimi will be making his first ever start at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Michimi brings with him momentum from qualifying on pole for the Motul Petit Le Mans which also marked MSR’s first pole position of the 2020 IMSA season. With just one race start at Sebring in 2015 for the Super Trofeo World Finals, Michimi is focused on helping to deliver MSR to another championship title.
“It’s the last race of the year and last year for Meyer Shank Racing with the Acura NSX GT3. It will be an intense weekend for sure since we will all be going after the championship title. We’re really focused going into the weekend and know what we have to do to get the job done. We need to keep the car clean with three drivers. We don’t necessarily have to win, but we have to have a good finish. We are going into the weekend with a good shot at it because we have the points lead and I think that’s important. We know that Sebring is a tough track, especially the 12 hours – it’s a true fight. For sure it will be interesting, but I am really looking forward to the last race.”
“Sebring is going to be one of the most intense races I’ve ever done. We’re coming in with a seven point lead and are going to have to fight to the very last lap to score the championship. It will be great to have Shinya back on board with us, he has done a really great job throughout the season. Mario and I are fully focused on running a clean, strong race right up until the finish. I’m confident that we can come away with a good result and hopefully give MSR its second consecutive championship title.”
“We have a big race ahead for the whole team. Sebring is a tough track on everyone, including the car. So in order for us to get Matt and Mario the championship we need to first get to the final hour of the race unscathed. I’m here as a third driver so I will just be focusing on bringing the car to the next stint as clean and fast as possible. The Sebring 12 hour has been a bucket list race for me so I’ll also be excited to finally take part in it, even if the famous Turn 7 party won’t be going on for me to see.”
Source. Sunday Group
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