Legge, Parente Run Fourth at Lime Rock
  • 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

News Reporter