1. A Record of Success
Practice makes perfect. One of the best ways to continue a podium-earning run is to maintain the momentum of the previous event. Not only did Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) claim a second Detroit Grand Prix win for the second year in a row, but the team is now looking to add a second consecutive victory to its resume at Watkins Glen International.
The Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 stormed to victory in the 2017 running of the Six Hour endurance classic in its first start with the Acura NSX. The team also earned its first pole position to start off the event and continued that front running pace straight to victory lane. After leading a combined total of 147 laps between the team’s two Acura NSX GT3 entries, Meyer Shank Racing will look to extend that run out front this weekend.
Not only did MSR score the 2017 GTD win, but the team also scored a Prototype class podium finish in the 2016 edition of the event with drivers John Pew, Ozz Negri and Olivier Pla scoring a third place finish.
2. Pit Stop Strategy and Execution
With constant traffic, variable weather, tire performance and driver changes to consider, endurance races are like a fast-moving puzzle with countless pieces that need to fit perfectly together to get a complete result. With six hours of flat out racing action, many factors such as strategy, pit stop execution and engineering must all work as one.
Last year the team clocked in six stops, averaging around 30-second per stop with two driver change sequences. This year MSR is ready match that performance as it has continually shown quick thinking during stops to maximize on track performance.
3. Productive Driver Pairings
Having a dynamic driver pairing is a major key to victory no matter where the race may be. The duo of Legge and Parente have lit a fire of success this season with a combination of stout qualifying and big race results. The pair have qualified inside top ten for every race and have both led the GTD field at each outing, resulting in three podium finishes including a win at the Grand Prix of Detroit last month for Legge and Farnbacher.
Not only are Aschenbach and Marks synced in the No. 93 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3, but harmony also exists between drivers and the MSR team. Following an incident in Sebring that saw the Acura sustaining heavy front-end damage, the MSR team worked for 36 hours straight to repair the car. Aschenbach then rewarded that effort as he posted the fastest time of the session during Saturday morning warm-up, proving that teamwork can change the path of a race weekend.
4. Winning Over the Fans: Rocky Fork Best Fans in the Land Contest
Sometimes the importance of race fans can get overlooked in the cacophony of race action, but not at MSR. At the start of the 2018 race season, Meyer Shank Racing and its longtime sponsor, Rocky Fork Co aimed to thank race fans for their continued support of the series, the sport and of the Meyer Shank Racing team as they combined to create the “Rocky Fork Best Fans in the Land Competition.”
Starting with the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the competition looks to get the team’s fans involved in an interactive contest on the Meyer Shank Racing twitter account (@MichaelShankRac). Through a series of trivia questions, the Rock Fork Best Fans in the Land contest begins on the Friday of every race weekend on the MSR race schedule – IMSA & IndyCar events. At the close of the race weekend one or more winners are selected to win a piece of Meyer Shank Racing, whether that be a front fender, signed merchandise or exclusive team apparel.
5. Looking the Part
The Shalen’s Six Hours at The Glen is special for so many reason, but one of them being the patriotic liveries that are put on display for the six hour classic. Meyer Shank Racing has never come up short with its unique liveries, always keeping fans on edge for what is to come next. Last year, MSR won the IMSA award for best patriotic livery with Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam making an appearance on the side of the two beautifully AERO wrapped Acura NSX machines. The stunning blue Acuras were only the start to the team’s livery designs as the team continued to feature four total livery changes over the course of the 2017 season.
This year Meyer Shank Racing is continuing tradition as it will feature its first design change for the 2018 season. The No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 will see a full American flag livery from front to back also honoring the Liberty Bell on the door panels.
6. Conquering the Weather
In previous years, Meyer Shank Racing has conquered the shifty weather at Watkins Glen International. The team’s best results have come during the last two events – a win in 2017 and third in 2016 – after dominating the 3.4-mile circuit in sunny conditions.
Even with near perfect conditions set in the forecast, MSR is prepared to take on the challenges of any track rain or shine. This year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona saw the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 emerge from the race with a second place finish after experiencing moments of pouring rain.
Hot and dry races also prove to not affect the competitiveness of the skilled team. As temperatures quickly rose from cloudy 60s to the sun pounding over 80 degrees during the battle in Detroit, both MSR Acuras were unfazed leading to the team’s first ever 1-2 finish.
The Shalen’s Six Hours at The Glen will go green on Sunday, July 1st at 9:45 a.m. ET with live FS1 coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Meyer Shank Racing, Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen Driver Quotes
Lawson Aschenbach, No. 93 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “Our podium at Detroit was a great momentum builder heading into Watkins Glen. We’ve been fast all season, but the end results haven’t shown the speed and abilities of the program. Justin (Marks) and I are firing on all cylinders and the Acura NSX GT3 has been fast and reliable. We are primed for a challenging six hours!”
Justin Marks, No. 93 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “I think the momentum from Detroit is good and give us some confidence heading into Watkins Glen. We’ve finished every race this year better than the previous one so I think the trend is contributing to everyone’s confidence. Detroit was a great weekend for MSR and the 93 team, but we need to keep improving. I like everything about The Glen. It’s a classic race track with a rich history. The Six Hours is always a great event and a very hotly contested endurance race.”
Katherine Legge, No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “I love Watkins Glen it’s one of my favorite tracks on the planet and the area is beautiful too. It’s also a great track to have an endurance round at. The fact we are coming off a win and we won here last year gives our whole MSR team an added push to get another!”
Alvaro Parente, No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “After the win in Detroit and the results we have been achieving this year I am more motivated than ever to get to The Glen and give it all we have. The team and Katherine (Legge) have been performing extremely well and we will push hard to keep it that way. The team has very good information from last year and we had a good test at Watkins recently. It’s a confidence boost for sure and everyone is ready to go out there and fight for the race!”