Back in America, and tied in with the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 team, Arizona’s Matt McMurry is finding value in focusing his efforts with one program in one series.
In 2019, the pro racer and college student split his time in Europe with the Jenson Team Rocket RJN Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup program, and LMP2 with PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports where he won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP2 title, which made for plenty of international travel and adjusting driving styles between a Blancpain NSX GT3 and PR1’s ORECA 07-Gibson.
In his simplified 2020 season, McMurry is all-in with the MSR Acura effort in IMSA’s GT Daytona category, where he and teammate Mario Farnbacher hold sixth in points, but sit just six points out of the championship lead. Heading into this weekend’s race at Road America, the 22-year-old took stock of how the year has gone as a member of the Acura/Honda-affiliated team in the No. 86 NSX GT3.
“It definitely is an awesome step in my career,” he told RACER. “I’m moving into a very professional chain with the Meyer Shank Racing team and Acura. I’ve come into a really competitive field in GTD, and to me, it feels like a step forward. Last year in LMP2, we had half a dozen different co-drivers, which meant there was a lot of adaptation, so to have one program with Mario for the full season, this is another step because it’s very intensive and very serious and super focused on winning. It’s nice to just be in one car, one team, all season!”
McMurry’s relationship with Acura and Honda Performance Development is another aspect of his budding career that holds great potential.
“I definitely see it as a steppingstone from previous years,” he said. “In addition, big picture-wise, looking forward, it’s good to be on a team like MSR, that has had a really close relationship with Acura and HPD. So, I see that as hopefully bringing more opportunities in the future, and trying to stay and continue developing with MSR and HPD. I raced with MSR years ago, so it’s great to be back, and I also have an ongoing relationship with HPD from last season in the Blancpain series, plus I did an internship with them over the summer last year. So, it’s all about working on longstanding relationships to bring something out of that for the future.”
Returning to the task ahead this weekend, McMurry is looking to build off the third-place finish he and Farnbacher earned at Daytona on July 4 to move closer to the front of the GTD standings.
“It’s still super early in the season, but I am confident that we have a really strong chance of going for a championship,” he said. “The season started a little bit rough at the Rolex 24 with some mechanical problems, so we get our best result there, but as soon as we came back, it was a clean, issue-free race and we ended up on the podium, and I think we can continue to do that. Everyone on the team agrees that all we’re going for is championships.”