In the fight for victory for the entire race, Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) had to settle for second in Sunday’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship presented by Motul, Round 4 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist piloted the No. 60 MSR with Curb-Agajanian AutoNation/SiriusXM Acura ARX-05 DPi, missing the victory by just 1.080-seconds after nearly three hours of racing. It was the second podium finish of the season after the team opened the year with a victory in the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Looking to add a third victory at the Monterey track to the team record, MSR opted for an undercut strategy on their penultimate pit stop.
Blomqvist took the lead two laps later when he passed the No. 10 Acura DPi at pit exit with one hour, 28-minutes remaining. Seven minutes later, the No. 10 regained the lead after GT traffic set up a side by side move heading into the famed Corkscrew. Blomqvist took to the dirt on the downhill plunge in a bid to regain the lead, but was nudged out of the way by the other Acura.
MSR made one final stop on the day, with the No. 60 Acura emerging from pit lane a close second with 45-minutes remaining. Blomqvist applied pressure all the way to the checkered flag in the two-hour, 40-minute event. He closed to the back wing with15 minutes remaining, but heavy traffic stymied any opportunities to make a pass.
Coming down the stretch, Blomqvist set a new race lap record with a 1:15.546-seconds flyer with 20 minutes remaining.
It was a 1-2 finish for Acura teams, with MSR and WTR now both holding 1,325-points to share the championship points lead after four rounds of the ten-race championship. Round 5 of the WeatherTech Championship will be the Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, May 15.
“It’s been a really strong weekend actually. The team did a fantastic job and we made a lot of progress with the car. But, you know, when you take the lead in the race like that, and then to come away short, I can’t help to feel a little bit disappointed. But Tom was racing hard and did a fantastic job. Team has been superb all weekend and this is great for the points. I think we’re in the lead of the championship or joint lead with the 10. A long way to go still, but you know if we can keep progressing I think we got a good chance the rest of the season.”
“We jumped into the lead and then we came across a bunch of absolute maniacs out there. I got into the worst possible traffic at the worst time. Filipe (Albuquerque) was pretty forceful up at the Corkscrew and I just couldn’t get through, which messed up my race really. It was just too difficult to pass on normal running and I couldn’t get a good opportunity with the traffic. It was a shame because our car was the fastest one today, and we should’ve won the race. Disappointed, actually very, very disappointed. I’m happy we had a really quick car, and made huge progress in the package, so I’m very, very positive about that moving forward. So I have to thank the team for that but I’m still disappointed.”
Source. Sunday Group