Meyer Shank Racing released a statement accepting responsibility for the infractions and the penalties applied to the team for manipulating tire pressure data during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and indicated that it has parted with the individual responsible.
“We accept the series’ decision and have taken responsibility,” read the statement.
“We want to apologize to everyone at Acura, HPD, and all of our partners. We have dealt with this issue internally and the team member that was responsible is no longer with the organization. We do not want this error to overshadow the tremendous effort that our team, drivers and all of our partners have put forth to develop this new LMDh car. We consider this matter closed and are fully focused on resetting and coming back for the Twelve Hours of Sebring.”
Honda Performance Development discovered the team was manipulating the tire pressure data that IMSA monitors to ensure compliance with minimum tire pressure regulation, and reported the matter to the sanctioning body. IMSA and Michelin set minimum pressures for safety reasons, but teams often would prefer to use lower pressures to aid traction in cornering and acceleration.
“We are extremely disappointed in the misconduct of the Meyer Shank Racing team during the Daytona race,” said David Salters, president and technical director at HPD. “We became aware of a problem with data from the No. 60 MSR car, and after a detailed investigation following the race, we reported our findings to IMSA. HPD does not tolerate any misconduct, delinquency, or data manipulation of any kind. We completely support the action of IMSA in this matter. We have put in a huge effort over two years with our chassis partners into the ARX-06 to make the best race car we could. To have this put into question is unacceptable.”
HPD and IMSA found that that team was adding a correction factor into the tire pressure data so that the data IMSA received shows higher pressures than were actually being used. IMSA revoked the annual credential of team engineer and strategist Ryan McCarthy, likely the individual referred to in the team’s statement, and suspended him indefinitely. Other penalties applied include the loss of 200 team and driver IMSA WeatherTech Championship points, loss of all Michelin Endurance Cup points, loss of prize money, a $50,000 fine and probation for the team through June 30.