January 26, 2021

Meyer Shank Says Goodbye To Acura NSX GT3

4 min read
PATASKALA, Ohio  – Racing to the championship at the same track where the team first...

PATASKALA, Ohio  – Racing to the championship at the same track where the team first tested the car some 48 months before, Meyer Shank Racing closed out a spectacular four year run with the Acura NSX GT3 by securing its second consecutive IMSA WeatherTech Championship at Sebring Int’l Raceway during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

The team will now move its focus to the IMSA DPi class at it makes the switch to the Acura ARX-05 DPi starting in 2021.

Selected by Acura as the factory GT Daytona team to debut the all new Acura NSX GT3 in 2017, Meyer Shank Racing was integral in the development of the Acura NSX’s first year competing in North America.

It didn’t take long to lock down the pace as MSR secured the first ever North American win for the Acura NSX GT3 in Detroit in 2017. The Ohio-based team went on to score six additional victories and 24 total podium finishes in the following four years running the platform.

The team and its core of drivers worked hand in hand with Honda Performance Development and a team of engineers to develop and deploy an “Evo” update for the Acura NSX in 2019, which allowed the effort to find yet more success — bringing MSR to two IMSA GTD class championships in 2019 and 2020 as well as giving Acura its first GTD manufacturer championship title in 2020.

The 2017 season served as the debut year for the Acura NSX GT3. (Richard Dole/LAT Photo)

2017: The Development Year

With just a handful of test days prior to the debut of the Acura NSX GT3 in Daytona, Meyer Shank Racing entered the season not knowing what was to come. MSR featured a two-car lineup for the 2017 season with Andy Lally and Katherine Legge in the No. 93 Acura while MSR veteran, Ozz Negri would pair with Jeff Segal in the No. 86 Acura.

While the rainy conditions at the Rolex 24 At Daytona allowed the car to shine, the season started slowly from a results point of view, with just one appearance inside the top ten in Long Beach. But a quick turn around on the streets of Belle Isle saw Legge qualify on the front row and go on to bring home the first North American victory with for the Acura NSX GT3 with Andy Lally in June.

That momentum continued to the next round at Watkins Glen which saw the pair storm to victory after starting on pole and securing a second win onboard the NSX. A second place finish in the following round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and another second place finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca saw the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 claim sixth in its debut season chasing the IMSA GT Daytona championship.

The 2018 season saw Meyer Shank Racing and the Acura NSX GT3 fighting for the GT Daytona title. (Brian Cleary Photo)
The 2018 season saw Meyer Shank Racing and the Acura NSX GT3 fighting for the GT Daytona title. (Brian Cleary Photo)

2018: Fighting For The Championship

With 6,978 laps of competition under its belt, MSR entered the 2018 season looking to improve on its debut IMSA results for the 2018 season. The Rolex 24 At Daytona was a strong opening round for the No. 86 Acura which saw Legge, Parente, Trent Hindman and AJ Allmendinger make a run to second place in the 24 hour event and win the opening round of the Michelin Endurance Cup.

Legge and Parente went on to score one more podium finish (2nd) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course just two races later. Entering the Detroit weekend as reigning race winners, Legge was joined by Mario Farnbacher to fill in for Parente. The pair once again showed the strength of the Acura NSX GT3 on the tough street course, bringing home a second victory in Detroit. The race weekend also saw the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 of Aschenbach and Marks finish second – which marked MSR’s first 1-2 finish in IMSA competition.

With two additional podium finishes at Watkins Glen and Road America, championship hopes rapidly developed for the No. 86 Acura. Traveling west for the penultimate round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Legge not only scored her first ever IMSA pole position but also posted the fastest lap record for GTD (1:24.456 seconds) which still holds today. Legge and Parente raced to a flag-to-flag victory.

With just one race left at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, The No. 86 Acura entered the weekend second in the GTD championship standings and just six points behind the leaders. Despite a big P2 finish in the 10 hour finale event, the No. 86 Acura was one point shy of the claiming the GTD championship.

Click below to continue reading.

The post Meyer Shank Says Goodbye To Acura NSX GT3 appeared first on SPEED SPORT.

Source link