GT3 / 08 January 2020
Strong start for NSX GT3 Evo crews at the ‘Roar before the 24’
The NSX GT3 Evos of Meyer Shank Racing made a strong start to their campaign in North America as the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s official pre-season test; the ‘Roar before the 24’ took place at Daytona International Speedway last weekend.
In Saturday’s ‘qualifying’ session, which gives the fastest five crews priority on the location of their pit stall for the Daytona 24 Hours later this month, new signing Matt McMurry went second fastest, to show the pace of the car.
McMurry’s 2019 title-winning #86 car is shared with reigning Drivers’ Champion Mario Farnbacher, Jules Gounon and Shinya Michimi for Daytona.
Alvaro Parente; a multiple GTD race-winner with MSR in 2018, was fastest in the the first of Sunday’s sessions and ended the three-day test with the third-best time in GTD overall in the #57 MSR car that competes under the Heinricher Racing banner.
Parente’s co-drivers at Daytona are Misha Goikhberg, AJ Allmendinger and Trent Hindman; the latter having partnered Farnbacher to last year’s title. Hindman was fourth in the qualifying session.
Both cars were competing as part of the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Programme; a global collaborative project with JAS Motorsport responsible for assembly of all cars.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) and M-TEC handle sales and technical support in North America and Japan respectively, with JAS responsible for these areas across the rest of the world.
Also present at Daytona were the LAP Motorsports-run LA Honda World Team, who took part in six sessions for the supporting IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with their trio of JAS-built Honda Civic Type R TCRs.
Team newcomer Taylor Hagler, who shares with former TC America champion Ryan Eversley, was third-fastest in the opening session on Friday; their car winding up 11th overall at the end of the three days.
Mat Pombo was eighth in the sister car shared with Mike Lamarra and Larry Connor, while last year’s Daytona racewinners, Shelby Blackstock and Tom O’Gorman, were 10th; their car’s best time set by Chris Miller.