Acura Team Starts Off Rolex 24 Preparations with Flying Colors
An expanded Acura Motorsports effort for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship made its first appearance this weekend at Daytona International SportsCar Championship. The race track was enlivened with two Acura ARX-05 prototypes and two Acura NSX GT3’s at the “Roar Before the 24” open test.
The combined Acura Motorsports IMSA effort for 2020 was led by no less than Acura Team Penske and Meyer Shank Racing. The test days finished off in individual qualifying sessions for each class to allot pit and garage divisions for the Rolex 24 season opening.
“It feels good be back on track, and get our 2020 season off to an encouraging start. We had a productive Roar test, and strong qualifying runs to cap the weekend. We’re looking forward to the Rolex 24 in just a few weeks and successfully defending our multiple titles in both DPi and GTD throughout the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship,” said Ted Klaus, President of Honda Performance Development.
Acura Team Penske
The Acura Team Penske ARX-05 prototypes continued to dominate with their white and orange livery, as the team and Acura establish their stronghold of Daytona Prototype International Manufacturer, Driver, and Team championships won in 2019.
Acura Team Penske returns with a solid driver list for 2020. Ricky Taylor continues to share the #7 Acura ARX-05 with three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves. Meanwhile, Indy 500 race winner Alexander Rossi will once again serve as the third driver for the Rolex 24 and other long-distance rounds of the series.
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Meyer Shank Racing again made its way to Daytona with its pair of NSX GT3’s. Starting the new season on a positive note, both cars ran at or near the top of the GTD class time sheets throughout the test, as MSR defends its Drivers’ and team’s titles.
Reigning IMSA LMP2 champion Matt McMurry made a smooth transition to the GTD class by gliding the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 straight to second in the qualifying session. McMurry’s co-drivers this year include the returning Mario Farnbacher, Shinya Michimi and Jules Gounon.
Trent Hindman, who will be driving the #57 Heinricher Racing with MSR in the endurance rounds this season, placed his Acura fourth in GTD. The #57 car will be driven for the full season by Alvaro Parente and Misha Goikhberg, with NASCAR veteran A.J. Allmendinger rounding off the entire lineup for the Rolex 24.