Trent Hindman said Meyer Shank Racing’s struggles in Sunday’s Monterey Sports Car Championship powered by McLaren came at an “inopportune time” although is pleased for their “healthy enough” points lead that still puts them in prime position for the GT Daytona class title.
Hindman and Farnbacher, who entered the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with a 37-point lead, could have locked up the drivers’ championship this weekend but instead struggled for pace in the two-hour and 40-minute race.
While starting second in class, Hindman dropped down the order in the opening hour, which led to the Ohio-based team making a strategy call to keep the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 Evo on track for a longer opening stint in anticipation of a full-course caution.
“I was losing a lot of time per lap up to that point,” Hindman told Sportscar365. “Our chance to try to beat the 9 [car] was down to trying to run long enough for a stint.
“Ultimately that bit us.”
With a yellow not materializing, it put Farnbacher one lap down, as the team attempted to salvage a result amid a high rate of tire degradation.
A drive-through penalty due to Farnbacher running over a wheel gun hose on his final stop dropped the Acura further down the running order, although the German was able mount a late-race rally to finish eighth in class.
“We did everything we could to get the most out of this NSX package here this weekend,” Hindman said.
“We were a little bit worse than what we were expecting. We never had a chance in practice to do a long run and see how it shook out. We had to find out in the race.
“We pretty much threw the book at the car this weekend. We just had a hard time finding a happy medium between one-lap speed and long run balance. I think that’s what took us to the race there.
“It came at an inopportune time. It’s racing, it’s good and bad.
“I think the recovery at the end was really strong and it just shows the strength of the Meyer Shank Racing team.
“We’ll live, learn and move on.”
The result handed the inaugural WeatherTech Sprint Cup drivers’ championship to Pfaff Motorsports’ Zach Robichon, although MSR claimed the teams’ title due to the Canadian squad electing to skip the Detroit round.
“Congrats to Zach,” Hindman said. “He did a great job in the sprint races this year, but the overall and manufacturer’s championship isn’t done.
“We still have a pretty healthy gap so we’ll be gunning pretty hard for a win at Road Atlanta.”
With a 32-point lead over Robichon in the overall GTD title race, Hindman and Farnbacher, who will be rejoined by Justin Marks in the No. 86 Acura, will only need to start the race in order to be crowned champions.
Hindman said they’ll also have an eye on helping secure the manufacturers’ championship to Acura, which currently trails Lamborghini by only one point.
“The most important thing for us is to get Acura the manufacturers’ championship,” he said.
“We’re still within sight of that and obviously a win at Road Atlanta would do us a lot of good in that.”