Acura Team Penske Podium Streak Continues at Road America
A thrilling finish to Sunday’s Road America Road Race Showcase saw Dane Cameron challenge for the victory through the final laps of the two-hour, 40-minute contest. Although he came up 22-hundredths of a second short at the finish, the second place result added to the Drivers’ Championship points lead for Cameron and co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya, while Acura also extended its lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship battle.
In GTD, a fifth-place finish for the Meyer Shank Racing pairing of Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher saw them take a healthy, 26-point championship lead with three races remaining, while Acura also leads the highly-competitive GTD Manufacturers’ Championship.
Acura Team Penske ARX-05
After pacing all three practice sessions and starting from the pole, Cameron led the opening stint of today’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event. After Cameron handed off to co-driver Montoya at the first scheduled pit stop, the #6 Acura ARX-05 battled the pair of Mazda prototypes through the middle portion of the contest, as tire wear and fuel mileage dictated pit strategy.
Returning behind the wheel for the final third of the race, Cameron closed on the rear wing of leader Harry Tincknell’s Mazda with two laps to go. The pair made light contact as they battled for the win, with Cameron unable to complete a pass in the final corners. Still, the second-place finish was the sixth consecutive podium result for Cameron and Montoya, including wins at Mid-Ohio and Detroit. The pair now has an unofficial seven-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship (239-232) over Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, who finished fourth today. Acura holds a five-point lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 262 points to 257 for Cadillac.
Teammates Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor had a more troubled run, as debris on track became wedged under the #7 Acura ARX-05 at the one-hour mark. The duo recovered from the resulting long stop to finish fifth.
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Championship leaders Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher took their #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura to a fifth-place run in GTD, after a race-long battle with the new McLaren entry of Paul Holton and Matt Plumb ended in favor of the MSR duo.
In the #57 Acura NSX GT3 Evo, Bia Figueiredo started eighth and ran as high as sixth in her opening stint. However, after the first round of pit stops, a multi-car collision just past the one-hour mark sent co-driver Katherine Legge to the pits for repairs, resulting in a disappointing 13th place finish.
After seven of 10 races for the GTD field, Hindman and Farnbacher hold a significant, 26-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship (209-183) over Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley; while Acura owns a two-point margin over Lamborghini in the Manufacturers’ title contest.
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now heads to Virginia International Raceway near Alton, Va., for the second of two GT class-only races in the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the August 25 Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.