- Katherine Legge, MSR score repeat victory for Acura NSX GT3 on Belle Isle
- Justin Marks, Lawson Aschenbach complete a MSR 1-2 result for Acura
- Acura Team Penske duo of Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor finish second in prototype
- Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron finish third to complete nearly perfect day for Acura
DETROIT, Mich. – The four Acura entries in this weekend's Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear completed a nearly perfect set of results in today's 100-minute race, with a 1-2 result for the Acura NSX GT3 and Meyer Shank Racing in the GTD class, and a 2-3 finish for Acura Team Penske and the ARX-05 prototype.
Meyer Shank Racing GTD
In GTD, Katherine Legge and Meyer Shank Racing successfully repeated their class win here from one year ago, but with Mario Farnbacher joining the lineup in the #86 Acura NSX GT3. Starting second, Legge challenged the leading Lamborghini of Bryan Sellers throughout the first 40 minutes. Meanwhile, Justin Marks ran a close third in the #93 MSR Acura.
At the end of her stint, in the only scheduled pit stop for the GTD cars, the MSR team repeated its successful tactic from 2017 and only changed the left-side tires on both Acuras, putting them first and second, with Farnbacher now leading in the #86 and Lawson Aschenbach second in the #93 NSX GT3.
From there, the MSR Acura pair controlled the pace of the race, with Farnbacher pulling out to a nine second victory and Aschenbach completing the first-ever 1-2 result for Meyer Shank Racing. The win moves Legge, second in the GTD Drivers' Championship, to within three points of leader Sellers; and Acura to within nine points of the Manufacturers' Championship lead.
Acura Team Penske Prototype
Starting second, Acura Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya moved into the lead after only four laps in his #6 Acura ARX-05, with teammate Helio Castoneves running second in the sister #7 Acura. An early yellow flag for debris on Lap 11, the only caution flag of the day, resulted in both Acura Team Penske prototypes electing to make early pit stops.
On the Lap 15 restart, contact between multiple cars delayed the #6 car, now with Dane Cameron driving, and allowed Ricky Taylor in the #7 to pass. The pair ran fifth and sixth until others made their scheduled initial stops, and were running second and third after the final round of stops. Taylor reduced a seven-second lead for the Action Express Cadillac of Felipe Nasr to just over a second, but was unable to attempt a pass for the lead in the closing laps.
From the shortest race on the schedule, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship moves on to one of the longest: the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, July 1 at Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York.
Video recaps from this weekend's Acura racing activities in Detroit, as well as action from the companion Honda teams in the Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader race weekend, will be posted on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2017 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "What a great day for HPD today, a nearly perfect day for both Acura and Honda. To rebound from a disappointing Indianapolis 500 last week to sweep the top six in IndyCar, go 1-2 in the GTD class in the IMSA race, plus second and third in the prototype class, should be ample reason for all HPD associates to be proud. Congratulations to everyone connected with our racing programs."
Katherine Legge (driver, #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) Finished first in GTD, second consecutive win in Detroit and third Acura career win: "I'm super pumped with our results today! It was the best possible outcome. I am over the moon happy. Now, we are right there with [the leaders] in the championship, so we have to just move on to the next race to continue the fight. It's for the championship, so we have a different outlook and hopefully we can keep racing and moving forward."
Mario Farnbacher (driver, #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) Finished first in GTD: "First, I have to thank Mike [Shank] and the team for bringing me in to race this weekend and trusting me. My main job was to keep this car competitive and most importantly to save fuel during the race. Fuel saving is not always easy, but I could be consistent and bring it home! I am just so thankful the team thought of me for this spot. I hope Alvaro [Parente, regular co-driver for the #86] and Kat [Legge] continue this good run through the rest of the season."
Ricky Taylor (driver, #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) Finished second overall and in prototype: "We were definitely closing [on the leader] in those final few laps, but as everyone knows, it's very difficult to pass here. So, I'm not 100 per cent sure if we would have had enough [to pass] even if the race had been a little bit longer. Our Acura is definitely fast, but there are still a few areas where we need to improve, and we'll work on those in the lead up to [the next race at] Watkins Glen."
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Circuit: Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit) Detroit, Mich.
Weather: Mostly cloudy, mild, 68 degrees F
|Top-6 Prototype Results:|
|1.||Prototype||Eric Curran / Felipe Nasr||Action Express||Cadillac DPi VR||68 laps|
|2.||Prototype||Helio Castroneves / Ricky Taylor||Acura Team Penske||Acura ARX-05||+1.016 seconds|
|3.||Prototype||Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya||Acura Team Penske||Acura ARX-05|
|4.||Prototype||Scott Sharp / Ryan Dalziel||Tequila Patron ESM||Ligier JSP217 Nissan|
|5.||Prototype||Renger Van Der Zande / Jordan Taylor||Wayne Taylor Racing||Cadillac DPi VR|
|6.||Prototype||Joao Barbosa / Filipe Albuquerque||Action Express||Cadillac DPi VR|
|Top-6 GTD Results:|
|1.||GTD||Katherine Legge / Mario Farnbacher||Meyer Shank Racing||Acura NSX GT3||65 laps|
|2.||GTD||Justin Marks / Lawson Aschenbach||Meyer Shank Racing||Acura NSX GT3||+9.646 seconds|
|3.||GTD||Madison Snow / Bryan Sellers||Paul Miller Racing||Lamborghini Huracan|
|4.||GTD||Ben Keating / Jeroen Bleekemolen||Riley Motorsports||Mercedes Benz AMG|
|5.||GTD||Jeff Segal / Cooper MacNeil||Scuderia Corsa||Ferrari 488 GT3|
|6.||GTD||Kyle Marcelli / Dominik Baumann||3 GT Racing||Lexus RC F GT3|
*Starting driver in italics
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