Michael Shank Racing has confirmed that Verizon IndyCar Series stars Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal will complete its lineup for January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The Honda IndyCar drivers will join full-season Michael Shank Racing drivers Andy Lally, Katherine Legge, Ozz Negri and Jeff Segal, as well as endurance drivers Tom Dyer and Mark Wilkins, in the Nos. 86 and 93 Acura NSX GT3s.
Both drivers are already familiar with the Ohio-based team, having competed in the team’s Daytona Prototype efforts in previous runnings of the Rolex 24.
Rahal joined Negri, Mark Patterson and Justin Wilson in the 2008 race, while Hunter-Reay partnered Negri, Patterson and Colin Braun a year later.
In 2016, Hunter-Reay and Rahal competed in the Rolex 24 with Visit Florida Racing and BMW Team RLL, respectively.
“We are obviously very excited to have Ryan and Graham back with us again for the 24,” said team owner Mike Shank. “No matter what class you are racing, how you can work through traffic is always important in the 24.
“So with Ryan and Graham both having experience driving different classes of cars in this race, hopefully that just adds to our strength for the 24.
“Speed is key, but experience is also critical so to have Ryan and Graham back with us is another great addition for this effort.”
Hunter-Reay has 16 IndyCar race wins to his name along with the 2012 championship and the 2014 Indianapolis 500 win, while Rahal has scored four series wins, most recently at Texas Motor Speedway last August.
“We’re thrilled to have Graham and Ryan join the Michael Shank Racing effort at Daytona,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “The debut of the NSX GT3 at the prestigious Rolex 24 will mark the return of the Acura brand to IMSA sports car competition.
“The addition of Graham and Ryan to an already excellent driver lineup, coupled with the experience provided by Michael Shank and his team, will make the NSX GT3 a serious contender for the GTD class victory at Daytona.”
Along with the four full-season drivers, Rahal and Hunter-Reay will take part in next week’s pre-season test at Daytona.