It’s been five years since Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) raced on the iconic Sebring International circuit equipped with Prototype machinery, but the Ohio-based team is prepared to make a strong return on Saturday for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The MSR squad will enter the weekend with full-season drivers Olivier Pla and Dane Cameron who will be joined by Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 DPi.
While it has been several years since the team raced at Sebring with a Prototype, it has only been a few months since MSR clinched its second consecutive GTD Championship title at the track back in November. Now, just four months later, MSR will return with a whole new lineup of drivers and all-new car as it aims to capture its inaugural Sebring 12 Hour victory.
MSR’s last outing in a Prototype at Sebring International Raceway (2016) saw Pla – who served as MSR endurance driver – secure the pole position for the 12 Hour endurance classic. Pla raced to a six second lead before the race was temporarily red flagged for weather. Once back to action, the team was on its way to a strong result when a broken suspension on the final lap hindered what could have been a top finish.
Pla most recently rounded out the Sebring podium in 2020 after finishing third overall. The Frenchman has yet to claim the coveted victory in the 12 Hour, and will be on the hunt for it this weekend with MSR.
“Sebring is a crazy place and one of my favorite tracks that we race at,” said Pla. “It’s a very demanding track and you have to make sure to have the best car possible to ride the bumps into T1 and T17, but at the same time without affecting the car’s balance for the rest of the track. This place always brings a big fight and a good show from the beginning until the end, and it becomes even more special at night the last few hours of the race.”
The team will return with plenty of past data with Cameron and Montoya’s three years of experience onboard the Acura ARX-05. The pair closed out the 2020 IMSA season with a second place finish at Sebring. The duo also captured a sixth place result during the July Sebring event in 2020.
In addition to the pair’s experience, MSR had the opportunity to test at Sebring prior to the day-to-night event.
“The Sebring 12 Hour is one of my favorite events of the year, I really enjoy the track and the challenges the bumps create,” said Cameron. “The atmosphere and fans there are second to none, so its always cool to see all the setups in the infield when we do the track walk. I am looking forward to a strong result with Oil and Juan. The team has been working hard since Daytona and we had a productive test a few weeks ago, so that should give us a good balance for the race and we can push for the win.”
“Last time I raced at Sebring in the Acura we were very competitive and had a very strong car,” said Montoya. “All of the work that the team has put in ahead of the event should make it another great race and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is set for Saturday, March 20th with a 10:10am ET green flag start time.
Source. Sunday Group