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Heinricher to Continue with MSR in New Driver Lineup

Alvaro Parente, Misha Goikhberg to drive MSR-prepped No. 57 Acura NSX GT3 Evo in 2020…

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

Heinricher Racing will continue its involvement with Meyer Shank Racing but with a revised lineup featuring Alvaro Parente and Misha Goikhberg as full season drivers of the No. 57 Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

Reigning IMSA GT Daytona class champion Trent Hindman, meanwhile, has been confirmed for the Michelin Endurance Cup races, with AJ Allmendinger returning for next month’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Heinricher formed the first all-female full-season driver lineup in IMSA history this year, although an early exit from primary sponsor Caterpillar, which reportedly had a two-year contract, has resulted in a different lineup for 2020.

Both Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen, who formed the majority of the driving squad this year, have moved to the newly formed GEAR Racing effort with Grasser Racing Team and Lamborghini.

“I was very proud of founding the first all-female driving team to compete for a full season in 2019, proving there is a competitive place for professional women race drivers in this sport,” Heinricher said.

“We’re grateful to Caterpillar for helping us launch our inaugural season. Due to their unexpected departure from IMSA racing, that driving team has moved to another manufacturer. But, I’m so glad they are able to maintain their lineup for a second season.

“At Heinricher Racing, we’re excited to develop a new team of young drivers, which is a pillar of our commitment to IMSA.”

GT veteran Parente is set for his first full season of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition after contesting the majority of the 2018 races alongside Legge with the Ohio-based squad.

The Portuguese ace will be joined by Silver-rated Goikhberg, who makes the move from prototype to GTD competition following multiple years with JDC-Miller Motorsports.

“I am hoping this is the start of a long-term relationship which will result in wins and championships,” Goikhberg said. “2020’s GTD category is shaping up to be an extremely competitive championship and I am very eager to work with such a talented group of co-drivers.”

Parente added: “2018 with MSR was my first experience racing in IMSA and also with the team, and I learned a few tracks that I didn’t know before, so all was quite new.

“It was an extremely successful year right from the start, and I really enjoyed working with everyone on the team. They all have a lot of talent and big ambitions.

“We were second in 2018 in the Rolex 24, so this year I’m looking forward to finishing one step higher. The MSR team is coming off a championship title and that really motivates me.”

Hindman, who was replaced by Matt McMurry in the team’s championship-winning Acura, will focus his WeatherTech Championship efforts on the four endurance races, having been retained as a Silver-rated driver by the FIA and IMSA.

“There’s certainly a sense of relief knowing that I’ll be back with the MSR team I’ve grown so close to over the last two years,he said.

“I have a ton of confidence in the Acura NSX GT3 considering the development and lessons learned with the car over the last 12 months. A big thank you to Jackie Heinricher, Mike Shank, Acura and Honda HPD for having me. I’m excited to get back to work for 2020.”

Team co-owner Michael Shank said Heinricher has worked hard to bring the adjusted program together for 2020.

“Jackie is one of the few female leaders in motorsports with a clear, long term vision of what she wants to accomplish in the sport,” he said.

“This year we are focusing on getting results, podiums and wins for our sponsors Heinricher Racing and with this lineup we can make that happen.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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