IMSA Spotlight: Andy Lally
Driver: No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
With one race left this season, how would you assess the debut for the Acura NSX GT3?
“It has been an amazing season to be a part of and watch this car go from something that had never taken the green flag before to a multi-time winner.
“Anytime a manufacturer puts so much effort into a race car, they expect great results and although we struggled a bit at the start of the season we had a very good understanding of the car by the summer and we’ve been able to show what the car is capable of.”
Where have you seen the biggest gains with the car so far this year?
“We have seen gains everywhere, but the more miles we put on the car the more we were able to get a feel for our shock and spring combination. The [traction control] is one of the best in the field as well. The guys at HPD have been wonderful to work with during that development.”
How competitive is this year’s GT Daytona field compared to other classes and series you have competed in in the past?
“GTD is obviously the biggest IMSA class by far and I think the amount of different winners and teams we see on the podium week in and week out speaks to the depth of the field. The GT3 platform is a favorite among drivers throughout the world and to get some of the best GT drivers on the planet showing up at our events is great.
“Every driver in this class wants to compete against the very best with nobody being able discredit any win. The fact that we get factory drivers from all the manufacturers participating is a testament to what the drivers and manufacturers think of the class.”
What goals do you have for the season finale at Motul Petit Le Mans?
“Win. That’s it. We don’t show up for anything else. We want to close out 2017 on a positive note. I crossed the finish line first at the 2016 Petit Le Mans last year in what I thought was my second win at that event only for it to be taken away because of drive time rules.
“With a second place finish in 2015 the year before and being so close to other victories there, I am heading into the 2017 event with only one thing on my mind: win.”
When and how did your interest in street luge develop?
“I started skating when I was nine or ten and was really into it until I was about 13. We would go from spot to spot on the north shore of Long Island and bomb some hills along the way. I kept finding myself much more interested in going down the hills than I was in doing tricks, which I wasn’t very good at anyway.
“One day I saw my first street luge on the cover of TransWorld Skateboarding and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Nobody was doing that on Long Island and with no internet or other forms of learning how to start, I let the desire fade.
“When the X Games debuted with Street Luge as a sport in 1995 it sparked my interest again. I watched as a fan for a while until I finally heard about an event. I designed a luge, practiced with it and went to my first race. I have been hooked ever since.
“Auto racing has kept me from doing it as much as I want to but maybe when things slow down I’ll be able to get back into it again. I would love to put on my own events as well with the right partner. I’d also love to open up the world’s first dedicated gravity park for all kinds of downhill racing. Like a ski resort but paved and for anything gravity powered!”