Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

MSR to Utilize IndyCar Crew for Bolstered Rolex 24 Effort

Mike Shank on challenges for LMDh race debut at Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: John Dagys

Meyer Shank Racing will be utilizing crew members from its NTT IndyCar Series program to strengthen its Rolex 24 at Daytona effort according to team co-owner Mike Shank, who is putting ‘B’ and ‘C’ plans in place in the event of issues arising with the debuting Acura ARX-06.

The defending top-class IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title winners, which also won this year’s Rolex 24, is making extra preparations for the first race of the LMDh era, both with personnel and other resources that could be needed if the around-the-clock enduro comes down to a race of attrition.

“We’re adding people but also using our resources on the IndyCar side especially on the race weekend to help support the effort for the Rolex 24,” Shank told Sportscar365.

“I’ll probably bring ten extra people to help support the car and the garage so we can get out in time for sessions or if we have a problem, we can job-assignment it out and have the support.

“We also need to have as many built-up spares as we can, just in case.”

Shank said the level of the factory-backed GTP class operation, which has seen increased manufacturer involvement from Acura, Honda Performance Development and chassis constructor ORECA, has been on a different scale to previous race programs.

“We haven’t done that in the past, actually,” he said to utilizing members of MSR’s IndyCar crew. “We never did that with the DPi. We didn’t have a development cycle like this one. It’s truly unique in anything I’ve ever done.

“We’ve brought along the NSX and this is a whole another ballgame.

“The good thing is that there’s a lot of folks on the project that are working a lot of hours. You would think there would be a lot of complaining and unhappiness but it’s not bad.

“The expectation is that we’ve got this new technology and it needs to happen. My group, anyways, is trying to make it happen.

“The effort that ORECA and HPD, not to mention the two teams, is remarkable. You can just walk around and feel it and sense it.”

While admitting the team is still “grabbing the low-hanging fruit” in terms of car setup and overall pace, Shank said he’s been pleased with the progress made in the car’s development.

The Acura ARX-06 cars from MSR and Wayne Taylor Racing are joined by fellow GTP class entries from Porsche, BMW and Cadillac at this week’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway.

Shank, though, said he’s still focused on being fully prepared for the team’s return to Daytona in six weeks’ time with the No. 60 entry of Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

“We will prepare the car and everything around it to support it, double or triple the level we [typically] do,” he said.

“Being prepared in the garage is going to be important in case we have issues or where we think what our weaknesses may be and to have the people to respond.

“Our goal is to keep the thing on the track the entire time and we’re obviously going to do everything we can do to that. We just have to have a ‘B’ and ‘C’ plan [as well].

“I don’t think it’s a secret, I think we’re all going to have something go on that will be a challenge for us to overcome. We just don’t want it to be too much that we can’t [keep going].

“I think we have to consider fixing everything [within the regulations]. We have to be prepared to get back out there and put laps in, no matter what happens, if it goes down.

“But there’s moments where I think, ‘Man, this is going to be OK.’ Then something catches up. I realize the size of the project that we have going on here.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment

More in WeatherTech Championship