Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian took the Acura NSX GT3 to its first victory in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship on Saturday, as Katherine Legge and Andy Lally triumphed in the GT Daytona class.
Legge had put the car onto the front row during Friday’s qualifying session, but for Michael Shank, it was another piece of history to be proud of, just one week after making their Indianapolis 500 debut and a year since racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.
“I’m just so grateful that our team, Michael Shank Racing, gets the win for the Acura brand today,” said Shank. “You could almost feel it around this place, everyone was really, really calm before the race, it was almost too quiet!
“We are really making advancements on the car and I am just so thrilled for the team. Everyone from the drivers, to the crew guys, to the engineers, everyone did what they needed to today.”
Shank admitted that pit stops were the key on Saturday for both the #93 of Legge and Lally and the sister #86 of Oswaldo Negri Jr and Jeff Segal moved forward, with the former taking over at the front of the field by taking only two new tyres, while the latter finished fifth having started twelfth in class after taking fuel only.
“The pit stop was key for both cars, we just smoked them off of pit lane,” said Shank. “We called an audible when we called for two tyres when we saw that caution.
“We knew we weren’t going to take as much fuel which maximized what we knew our fuel flow could be to how many tires we could get on in that time frame. And of course the 86 went from 12th to sixth by taking fuel only. When you keep the car on the ground (by not taking tyres), the flow of fuel is a lot quicker. They kept the car low, got it filled and got out.”