Meyer Shank Racing’s Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher head into this weekend’s Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by McLaren with a chance of clinching the GT Daytona class title one race early.
Thanks a season of consistency, the duo in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 Evo hold a 37-point lead over Pfaff Motorsports’ Zach Robichon heading into Sunday’s penultimate IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
A class win would clinch the championship, while finishing ahead of Robichon if he and co-driver Scott Hargrove are fourth or better, would also seal the title for the Ohio-based team.
Should that not be achieved, just starting next month’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, should the No. 86 Acura leave Laguna Seca with a 20-point buffer over the GTD competition, would be enough to win the championship.
With a maximum of 70 points still up for grabs in the final two races, there are a number of other points scenarios at play, although both drivers said they’re focused on getting the results first, and then see where things shake out.
“There’s a lot of consideration as to what may or may not happen for the Meyer Shank Racing team come Laguna Seca,” said Hindman.
“All I know is that the No. 86 Autonation Acura won this race last year and Mario and I will be pushing like hell to make it two years in a row.
“A good balance of aggression and risk management has brought us this far, and we plan on changing nothing with our approach with two rounds remaining in the 2019 WeatherTech Championship season.”
Hindman and Farnbacher, who only have a single class victory this season, are also in the midst of the inaugural WeatherTech Sprint Cup, as they trail leader Robichon by just 1 point, leaving that title race wide open heading into the two-hour and 40-minute race.
For Farnbacher, who claimed pole for this year’s California 8 Hours in a factory-run Acura, the German feels confident of continued success at the circuit.
“WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has always been a good track to me and I’ve had some good results there,” said Farnbacher.
“We will try to match up those results again this weekend. For us it’s important to finish the races and to score points to put towards the championship.
“I think we are in a good position to score some more points this weekend and our car has been good at this track in the past, so I’m pretty confident that we will have a good race.”
Closer Points Battles in Three Other Classes
The chances of championships being locked up in the three other classes are highly unlikely, especially at the top in DPi, which sees a seven-point gap between leaders Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron from the Brazilian pairing of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.
Mazda Team Joest’s Jonathan Bomarito also still holds a mathematical chance of the DPi title, 17 points back from the Acura Team Penske duo and on a tie with Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor.
Porsche’s Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor hold a 11-point buffer over teammates Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet, who won last time out at Virginia International Raceway, in GT Le Mans competition, while Matt McMurry has a five-point lead in LMP2 over Cameron Cassels.