Friday, September 25, 2020

Acura Wins Wet & Wild Road America

Helio Castroneves found traction with his Acura ARX-05 where others could not, as he and his Acura Team Penske co-driver Ricky Taylor prevailed in monsoon-like conditions in the final hour to win Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America.

In the GTD class, Mario Farnbacher survived an off-course excursion on the penultimate lap of the two hour, 40-minute contest to finish second with co-driver Matt McMurry in their Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

Acura Team Penske
In the premier Daytona Prototype International category, the Acura Team Penske duo of Taylor and Castroneves claimed their first victory of the 2020 season in come-from-behind fashion, as Castroneves passed Renger van der Zande’s Cadillac in the final 10 minutes of the race.  Once in front, Castroneves quickly opened up a half-second lead, then held on as the heavy rains returned and the race ended under caution.

The fourth race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season started under partly cloudy skies and remained dry for the first 90 minutes.  Starting from the pole, Taylor had an early race lead of just over three seconds, while Dane Cameron in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 battled the Mazda of Harry Tincknell for second.

Acura NSX GT3 Evo Teams
In the always-competitive GTD category, the rains resulted in mixed fortunes for the Meyer Shank Racing and Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evos, highlighted by a second-place finish for the MSR duo of Matt McMurry and Mario Farnbacher.

Running eighth as the rain started to fall on parts of the 4.0-mile Road America circuit, Farnbacher was called to the pits for a well-timed stop that include fitting rain tires to the #86 NSX GT3 Evo.  The sudden heavy shower that followed – initially on only part of the circuit – unfortunately caught out the #57 MSR Acura of teammate Alvaro Parente, as he crashed heavily in Turn One, fortunately without injury, but ending the day for Parente and co-driver Misha Goikhberg.

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