- Katherine Legge, Alvaro Parente maximize strategy to finish fourth in GT-only run
- Legge, Acura remain second in tight GTD drivers’, manufacturers’ championship battles
- Lawson Aschenbach, Justin Marks victims of early-race contact
A fourth-place finish Saturday at Lime Rock Park for Alvaro Parente and Katherine Legge in their #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 keeps both Legge and Acura in the thick of the close GTD championship battles after seven of 11 rounds in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
As at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park two weeks earlier, recent Balance of Performance adjustments by the series have left the MSR Acura NSX GT3s with an uphill battle to fight in the tight GTD field.
Starting seventh, Legge survived an early run up an escape road and gained three positions through a long early stint before handing the car over to co-driver Parente. Varying pit strategies from other teams found Parente running seventh at the mid-point of the two-hour, 40-minute contest. But a long closing stint for the #86 NSX GT3 saw Parente move up to fourth as the race entered its closing stages.
Parente gained one more place, to third, as the leading Porsche of Patrick Long began to rapidly fade due to tire wear. However, battling tire wear himself, Parente dropped to fourth with less than five minutes remaining. The fourth-place finish, however, keeps both Acura and Legge second in the GTD Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships, respectively.
Meanwhile, opening-lap contact from the Turner Motorsports BMW of Bill Auberlen left the #93 MSR Acura with left-front suspension damage that resulted in drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Justin Marks retiring from the race.
Acura Team Penske & Next Event
IMSA’s Prototype category was not a part of the IMSA weekend at Lime Rock, but the Acura Team Penske ARX-05s will return to the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the next race on the schedule, the August 3-5 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Alvaro Parente (driver, #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) finished fourth: “We suffered a little bit too much at the end of the race [with tire wear], but we never really had that last little bit of pace at any time: when the tires were fresh, or in the middle, or at the end. It’s a shame we couldn’t hold off the Ferrari for third, but we’re fighting for points and today we didn’t have the car for a podium [finish]. Maybe next time will be different.”
Katherine Legge (driver, #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) finished fourth: “Our race didn’t go entirely as we’d hoped. However, the team did a phenomenal job, and so did Alvaro [Parente], at getting us track position. Fourth place at the end redeemed a weekend that wasn’t looking ideal for us. This is how you win championships, by getting solid points when you don’t have the fastest car on the track.”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Circuit: Lime Rock Park (1.474-mile road course) Lakeville, CT
Weather: Partly sunny, mild, 78 degrees F
Top-6 GTD Race Results:
Ps. Class Drivers Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. GTD Bryan Sellers / Madison Snow Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan 172 laps
2. GTD Andy Lally / John Potter Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS +18.614 seconds
3. GTD Gunnar Jeannette / Cooper MacNeil Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 172 laps
4. GTD Katherine Legge / Alvaro Parente Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 172 laps
5. GTD Jack Hawksworth / Mario Farnbacher 3 GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 172 laps
6. GTD Jeroen Bleekemolen/ Ben Keating Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 171 laps
9. GTD Lawson Aschenbach / Justin Marks Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 DNF – contact