By the time you read this snippet, 2 major players, fielding 4 cars, will sit trackside in Daytona Beach Florida. At stake here for Acura Motorsports and their partners Michael Shank Racing -- fielding 2 NSX GT3 IMSA supercars, and Team Penske -- with two Acura ARX-05 cars, considered the “Star Car” of the IMSA Weathertech series, is not only team owner and driver reputations, but millions of sponsored dollars spent. With 50 international contestants entered, this is the most exclusive race event in Motorsports.
The Rolex Daytona 24 Hour endurance race is Motorsports show time, with a worldwide audience. On a side note, I took a hot-lap with one of Penske’s drivers back in 2016 in this NSX supercar while visiting Thermal, California.
Michael Shank Racing returns Acura NSX GT3 to the Rolex Daytona 24 Hour year 2
Michael Shank Racing returns to the Rolex 24 at Daytona sporting two production-based Acura NSX platformed, highly modified non-hybrid, rear axle, 3.5 Liter V8 turbocharged V6 powered NSX GT3 cars. Last year was the inaugural season for NSX GT3 with Michael Shank Racing of IMSA, and RealTime Racing of Pirelli World Challenge fame’ scoring well in 2017. Michael Shank Racing posted respectable lap times earlier in January at the Daytona 24 Hour Pre-Run “Roar before the 24,” and looks to an impressive Daytona 24 Hour run.
Michael Shank Racing has put together one heck of a team for 2018, Shank’s 15th Daytona 24 appearance since 2004.
Meet your Michael Shank Racing Daytona Team
No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: Lawson Aschenbach, Justin Marks, Mario Farnbacher, Côme Ledogar
No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: Katherine Legge, Alvaro Parente, Trent Hindman, AJ Allmendinger.
24 Entries Through 15 Rolex 24 Events:
Michael Shank Racing has had a car entered every Rolex 24 At Daytona since 2004, finding success in the Prototype field before switching over to GT competition in 2017 with Acura. The 2018 two-car program marks the 24th entry for the Ohio-based team in the 24.
The Captain returns to Sports Car Series Racing
Without question, Roger Penske is one if not the most recognizable names in Motorsports today. For 2018, Pensky returns to Daytona 24 Hour endurance racing with 2 Acura powered, engineered and modified Oreka-7 derived IMSA prototypes.The 3.5L V6 turbocharged Acura ARX-05 carries on a tradition of Acura extreme track racing.. You can’t miss Roger Penske’s latest project at Daytona. It’s effectively a grounded extreme exercise in automotive aerodynamics, with recognizable Acura flair and body cues.
ARX-05’s cockpit is form-fitting, tight and oxygenated. Its smart wheel is digitized, and button activated. The only thing separating the driver from the extremes of the cold-night air is an aircraft mylar bubble. For the driver, ARX-05 can be physically challenging, and claustrophobic at times. I first reported on ARX-05 here.
For the Rolex 24 Hour, Pensky has recruited a star-power lineup -- arguably the winningest drivers in Indycar and Formula 1 Today. With Hello Castrovertes leading the lineup, Pensky has little reason to doubt that barring mechanical failure or collision, one of his two Acura’s will win Daytona this weekend.
Meet Team Penske
The list reads like a who’s who of Indycar and Formula 1. But then again, we are talking about Roger Penske Racing. Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron, and Simon Pagenaud are in one car, with Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal in the other. Read more about Penske’s return to Sports Car series racing here. A Torque News shout out to our friends at H.P.D. Acura Motorsports. Cheers! We’ll catch up with you at the finish line.