On the heels of its 16th-place showing in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 aboard the Honda of Jack Harvey, automotive retailer AutoNation is expanding its relationship with Meyer Shank Racing, joining its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship effort starting with this weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear and allowing the team to bring both cars to Belle Isle.
MSR won the 2017 race on the streets of Belle Isle to give Acura its first-ever victory with the Acura NSX GT3, and currently holds second in the team championship standings.
The No.86 Acura was set to focus solely on the endurance events, but has been able to compete at Mid-Ohio — where they finished second in class — and now Detroit with help from sponsors.
“It is really gratifying to have the partners that we have, and I’m thrilled to have AutoNation grow its involvement to be a part of our IMSA program,” said team co-owner Michael Shank. “The Acura NSX has been really strong this year and of course we’ve got a great record with the car in Detroit so hopefully we can get back to the podium there on Saturday with AutoNation.”
The No.86 Acura NSX GT3 will be driven by defending race winner Katherine Legge and Mario Farnbacher, who is substituting for Alvaro Parente while he takes part in the Blancpain GT series race at Paul Ricard. Lawson Aschenbach and Justin Marks will pilot the No.93 entry.
Both team entries will carry AutoNation’s “Drive Pink” branding initiative to “drive out cancer.”
“We are thrilled to grow our support of Meyer Shank Racing by teaming up for the IMSA Championship,” said Marc Cannon, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of AutoNation, which has raised over $14 million to fund cancer-related causes.