Acura Team Penske Dominates Mid-Ohio Race Weekend
Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron win the Acura Sports Car Challenge, making for second Mid-Ohio victory for Acura Team Penske.
Acura Team Penske remains undefeated at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, successfully defending its inaugural IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win from 2018 as Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya combined to win Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge.
In GTD, the Meyer Shank Racing pairing of Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher contended for the class win in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo throughout the two hour, 40-minute contest, and took over the Drivers’ Championship points lead with a second-place finish.
Acura Team Penske
After two days of rain and unseasonably cool temperatures, the sun finally came out on race day as a 36-car field took the green flag at Mid-Ohio. While front-row starter Helio Castroneves fell victim to contact with a pair of prototypes on the opening lap, damaging the bodywork of his #7 Acura ARX-05, teammate Dane Cameron took his #6 Acura up to second.
After shadowing early race leader Oliver Jarvis for the first 10 minutes, Cameron took the lead with a clean pass into the first turn, and continued at the front of the field until handing the driving duties over to Juan Pablo Montoya during the first round of pit stops. Montoya fell back behind Jarvis during his opening stint, but regained the advantage as the race reached its midpoint. Montoya then controlled the second half of the contest, taking the checkers by a margin of 2.02 seconds.
Castroneves ran the remainder of his driving stint with a damaged nose and right side bodywork before handing off to Ricky Taylor at his first pit stop. The Acura Team Penske crew quickly fitted a fresh nose section, and Taylor persevered to a fifth-place finish.
Today’s win moves Acura within four points of Cadillac in the DPi Manufacturers’ Championship after four of 10 races. Castroneves and Taylor remain second in the Drivers’ Championship, also four points out of first, with Montoya and Cameron unofficially ranked fourth.
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
In GTD, Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman took over the class championship points lead with a second-place finish today in their #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo. Starting driver Hindman led early, as did Farnbacher during the middle portion of the contest. A charging Jack Hawksworth passed Farnbacher in the final 20 minutes and, while Farnbacher continued to challenge for the class win to the finish, he fell just over a half-second short at the finish.
Teammate Christina Nielsen also had a strong start in the #57 Acura NSX, moving into fourth place in the opening laps and surviving contact from a competitor that resulted in right-side damage. Taking over the car in fifth place, co-driver Katherine Legge continued to run in the lead group, despite a brief off-course excursion in the second hour. Late in the race, the Acura stalled on course, and Legge lost a lap and fell to 12th in class while re-firing the NSX. She was able to regain two positions in the closing 30 minutes, and finished 10th in GTD.