Shank exploring Schmidt IndyCar pairing, Acura extension in IMSA

Shank exploring Schmidt IndyCar pairing, Acura extension in IMSA

IMSA

Shank exploring Schmidt IndyCar pairing, Acura extension in IMSA

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Michael Shank Racing could announce a dual Honda/Acura program next month that includes something close to a half-season effort for Jack Harvey in an MSR-run IndyCar, done in partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, plus the continuation of its Acura NSX GT3 program in IMSA. At present, the Ohio-based team owner says there’s no news to report.

“We’re not even close to having something signed in any series,” Shank told RACER.

MSR made its Indy 500 debut in May with Harvey piloting a Honda-powered car co-entered with Andretti Autosport, and while a return for the 2018 event with Andretti’s team was initially considered, all of its Indy-only cars and seats have been filled.

In light of Harvey’s longstanding relationship with the Sam Schmidt- and Ric Peterson-owned team, if he were to move forward with Shank, SPM would be an obvious destination to consider. As Harvey recently told RACER, “I was very fortunate to end the season with Auto Nation and Sirius/XM wanting to expand with me next year. My goal, knowing they were going to increase their support, was to find a home where I could do, within a round or two, half a season.”

Schmidt also confirmed in a recent interview that SPM would not consider running a third car outside of Indy, which would remain accurate if MSR were to receive one of the team’s Dallara DW12s, just as it did with Andretti, and field the car – with technical support provided – under Shank’s tent.

On the sports car side, MSR recently tested a number of drivers at Sebring in the NSX GT3s the team used to capture a pair of GT Daytona race wins in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series.

Provided MSR’s expansive plans come to fruition, they would represent its most ambitious programs to date.

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