Jul 2, 2019 – WATKINS GLEN, New York
- Trent Hindman, Mario Farnbacher and Justin Marks take first win of 2019
- Determined effort from Juan Pablo Montoya nets Acura Team Penske third at ‘The Glen’
- Meyer Shank Racing expands GTD drivers’ championship points lead
Acura Motorsports continued its run of mid-season wins and podiums today at Watkins Glen International Raceway, with Meyer Shank Racing taking its Acura NSX GT3 Evo to the GTD class win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, while Acura Team Penske added another podium finish with a third-place overall result for the Acura ARX-05 prototype.
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Starting from the GTD class pole, Trent Hindman and co-drivers Mario Farnbacher and Justin Marks remained in the thick of the GTD battle throughout the six-hour contest. During the final round of pit stops, the MSR team elected to have Mario “double-stint” his tires to the finish. The move enabled Farnbacher to beat most of his competitors out of the pits for the final time, but he would have to fight competitors with fresher, quicker tires under them for the final 40 minutes of the race.
Farnbacher was successful in his defense of the lead, and scored his first IMSA GTD win of 2019 and second career win. For regular co-driver Hindman, this was his first GTD win, to go with two poles, increased their lead in the drivers’ championship to an unofficial 16 points over Townsend Bell and Frank Montecalvo. For endurance racing specialist Marks, today’s win is the ninth in his long career, dating back to 2001.
In the second MSR Acura, Christina Nielsen and co-drivers Katherine Legge and Bia Figueiredo led the GTD class multiple times, and remained in contention for the class win through the final pit stop. Electing to install two new tires for the final run to the checkers, Legge was able to move from eighth to fifth.
Acura Team Penske ARX-05
In prototype, the final laps boiled down to a fight for the win featuring Juan Pablo Montoya’s Acura ARX-05 and the Mazda Team Joest trio of Jonathan Bomarito, Oliver Pla and Harry Tincknell.
As in GTD, today’s prototype endurance contest at Watkins Glen came down to the final 40 minutes, with Montoya taking a “short fill” – less than a full fuel load – to gain the lead with just over one hour remaining. After a frequent side-by-side battle for several laps, Tincknell executed a forceful pass on Montoya and extended his lead through the final laps to the checkers. However, Montoya and regular co-driver Dane Cameron remained in the thick of the championship after six of 10 races by virtue of their third consecutive finish on the podium.
Driving the #7 sister ARX-05, starting driver Ricky Taylor and co-driver Helio Castroneves started and finished fifth, results that belied the intensity of the contest at the front of the prototype field throughout the race.
Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen are available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
Next weekend, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship travels to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, outside Toronto, for the July 7 Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, Presented by Acura.
Mario Farnbacher (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) started first, finished first, his first IMSA GTD win of 2019 and second career victory, leads the GTD drivers’ championship by 16 points with co-driver Trent Hindman: “We double-stinted the tires at the end [did not put on a fresh set of racing tires during the final spit stop so that the team could gain positions]. Bill [Auberlen] was pushing like crazy [for the class win]. It was really hard work for the team, so I’m really happy.”
Juan Pablo Montoya (#6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 prototype) started third, finished third: “Honestly, apart from where we [had to save fuel] there at the end and made some contact [in the closing laps], everything was pretty smooth. The Mazdas have been really fast for some time now, they just haven’t been able to complete a race. For us, it was another solid result, and good for the championship. That’s exactly what we need to be doing right now.”
Katherine Legge (#57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) started second in GTD, finished fourth: “I am slightly disappointed [to finish fourth]. We have great handling, and overall the car is really strong, but we don’t have any pace at the end of the straights. We are fast but it is a struggle to pass, causing us to lose track position. The car was a top-two car today but we just couldn’t get it done. I am looking forward to next weekend and hopefully, we can get a better result.”
Allen Miller (HPD Race Team Pricipal): on today’s GTD race win and DPi podium result for Acura Motorsports: “On a day which began with Honda’s first Formula One race victory since 2006, congratulations to the Meyer Shank Racing team for winning from the pole today at Watkins Glen, and extending its points lead in the GTD drivers’ championship. In DPi, Acura Team Penske extended its streak of podium finishes with an excellent recovery from its mandated pit-lane start for the #6 Acura, and a determined third-place effort against strong competition from Mazda. Congratulations and thanks to all the associates at HPD for their efforts to put us in this position.”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Circuit: Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen
Watkins Glen International Raceway (3.3-mile road cours)
Weather: Overcast, mild, 66 degrees F
Top-6 Prototype Results:
|1.||Prototype||Jonathan Bomarito / Harry Tincknell / Oliver Pla||Mazda Team Joest||Mazda RT24P||211 laps|
|2.||Prototype||Oliver Jarvis / Tristan Nunez / Timo Bernhard||Mazda Team Joest||Maxds RT24P||+0.350 seconds|
|3.||Prototype||Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya||Acura Team Penske||Acura ARX-05||211 laps|
|4.||Prototype||Renger Van Der Zandt / Jordan Taylor / Mike Conway||Wayne Taylor Racing||Cadillac DPi VR||211 laps|
|5.||Prototype||Helio Castroneves / Ricky Taylor||Acura Team Penske||Acura ARX-05||211 laps|
Acura GTD Results:
|1.||GTD||Mario Farnbacher / Trent Hindman / Justin Marks||Meyer Shank Racing||Acura NSX GT3||188 laps|
|2.||GTD||Bill Auberlen / Robby Foley / Dillon Machavern||Turner Motorsports||BMW M6 GT3||+0.676 seconds|
|3.||GTD||Toni Villander / Cooper MacNeil / Jeff Westphal||Scuderia Corsa||Ferrari F488 GT3||188 laps|
|4.||GTD||Katherine Legge / Christina Nielsen / Bia Figueiredo||Meyer Shank Racing||Acura NSX GT3||188 laps|
|5.||GTD||Jack Hawksworth / Richard Heistand / Aaron Teilitz||AIM Vasser Sullivan||Sullivan Lexus FC F GT3||188 laps|