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No. 86 MSR Acura Still on Race-by-Race Basis

No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 still on race-to-race basis, according to Mike Shank…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 remains on a race-by-race program, according to team co-owner Michael Shank, despite having been confirmed for next weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The car, which was initially tabbed for a Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup-only program, currently sits second in the GT Daytona championship standings with Katherine Legge following additional outings at Mid-Ohio and Detroit.

Legge teamed with super sub Mario Farnbacher for class victory on the streets of Belle Isle, which has put her within three points of points leaders Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow.

While Legge and Alvaro Parente are set for next weekend’s round at CTMP, thanks to support from SiriusXM Canada, Shank admitted the car’s fate for the remainder of the season, bar the already-confirmed Motul Petit Le Mans, remains up in the air.

“We’re trying to keep it going,” he told Sportscar365. “The way I look at it, it would be a shame not to run a car that’s running that well.

“We took a lot of points out of the [Paul Miller Racing] Lambo in the last few races. We’ll see where it goes but I can only do what I do financially. We do this for a living, it’s got to work financially.”

Four races, beginning with next month’s GT-only event at Lime Rock Park, through the penultimate round of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in October, are currently unconfirmed for the No. 86 car.

Shank indicated there’s currently a “50/50” chance of it appearing for Lime Rock and Road America in August, although is dependent on a solid result in this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

In four starts this season, Legge has only finished off the GTD podium once.

“Let’s see how we come out of here and try to make it next week,” Shank said. “We got travel and all kinds of planning.

“Fortunately, the car itself is OK. We’ve got a lot of lifing in the right position.

“It wouldn’t take a lot from the car side. It’s just the logistics. There’s a lot of moving pieces and people to work on.”

Shank indicated that a commitment for the remainder of the season would cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

“We’ve got to fund that,” he said. “At the end of the year, if I’m short that much money, it puts me backwards straight away.”

The Ohio-based team is hosting eight guests from SiriusXM Canada President and CEO Mark Redmond next weekend, in a deal that came through the U.S. firm’s CEO Jim Meyer, who recently became a co-owner in MSR.

“They love racing up there, which is great,” Shank said. “Anything we can do to help promote SiriusXM, and of course my relationship with Jim Meyer helped open the door there.

“It’s the beginning of hopefully a good, solid relationship.”

Team “Getting Better and Better” With Acura

Shank believes their second year with the Acura has paid dividends, with a better knowledge of the mid-engined sports car in the increasingly competitive GTD class.

The Nos. 86 and 93 MSR entries currently sit second and fourth in the title race entering this weekend’s race.

“I think what you’re seeing is us having a second year with the car,” Shank said.

“It’s just getting stronger. We’re not [entirely] where we want to be but the cars have made such tremendous gains.

“Last year, we won the race [here] and we think we’re a little bit better than we were then.

“We’re just getting better with the car and I’m really happy and proud on how the crew has gelled with it.”

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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