Motul Petit Le Mans
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
12 p.m. EDT Saturday, October 12, 2019
NBC (12-3 p.m. EDT); NBC Sports Network (5:30-10:30 p.m. EDT)
Additional live coverage on NBCSports.com, Radio Le Mans and IMSA.TV.com
ACURA, HPD AT MICHELIN RACEWAY ROAD ATLANTA
• Acura Motorsports and HPD have won seven times at the classic Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta circuit, including victories in 1990s IMSA, American Le Mans Series and modern-day IMSA competition.
• Acura’s first win at Road Atlanta came in 1991, scored by Parker Johnstone in a solo drive in his Comptech Racing Acura Spice SE90P. The win was the first of three consecutive Camel Lights victories for Johnstone. Teamed with co-driver Dan Marvin, the pair combined for two more Camel Lights class wins in 1992 and ’93.
• From 2011-2013, Level 5 Motorsports also recorded three consecutive Petit Le Mans LMP2 class wins for HPD. Team owner/driver Scott Tucker joined with Christophe Bouchut and Joao Barbosa to win the 2011 event in their HPD ARX-01g. Tucker won again with Bouchut and Luis Diaz in 2012 in their new HPD ARX-03b; and completed the trifecta of class wins in 2013 with Tucker sharing the driving duties with Ryan Briscoe and Marino Franchitti.
• The Michael Shank Racing trio of Oswaldo “Ozz” Negri, John Pew and Olivier Pla dominated the 2016 Petit Le Mans in their Ligier JSP2 Honda and headed a 1-2 overall result for HPD. Luis Filipe “Pipo” Derani, Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek completed the sweep in their Tequila Patron ESM Ligier Honda.
ACURA TEAM PENSKE
• With an eight-point championship lead [297-289] over its nearest competitor, Acura will officially clinch the 2019 DPi Manufacturers’ Championship when the green flag flies for this weekend’s season-ending Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
• This will be Acura’s fifth Manufacturers’ Championship in eight seasons of both IMSA and American Le Mans Series competition (1991-93; 2007-’09; and 2018-’19). Acura won three consecutive Camel Lights titles from 1991-’93; and swept both the Chassis and Engine Manufacturers’ Championships in LMP1 and LMP2 in the 2009 American Le Mans Series.
• Propelled by a trio of race wins, including at the most recent event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and back-to-back victories at the Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio and the Grand Prix of Detroit, Acura Team Penske’s Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya lead the DPi Drivers’ title standings by 12 points [274-262] over Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr.
• A finish of eighth place or higher will secure the 2019 DPi Drivers’ Championship for Cameron and Montoya, regardless of where Derani and Nasr finish.
• In the second Acura Team Penske ARX-05, Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor come to Petit Le Mans ranked third in the Drivers’ Championship with 254 points, following three podium finishes this season.
• In the Michelin Endurance Cup DPi Manufacturers’ Championship, Acura is second with 35 points to 41 for leader Cadillac, and remains in contention for the title. Mazda and Nissan have been mathematically eliminated.
• The Acura ARX-05 is the latest in a line of endurance prototypes to be fielded by the company, dating to 1991, just five years after the launch of the Acura brand. Based on the successful ORECA 07 chassis, the ARX-05 DPi features Acura-specific bodywork and utilizes the race-proven, production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.
MEYER SHANK RACING
• Carrying a 32-point lead into the Petit Le Mans event this weekend, Meyer Shank Racing Acura drivers Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman will clinch the 2019 IMSA GTD Drivers’ Championship by starting and meeting minimum drive-time requirements in Saturday’s 10-hour season finale.
• Meyer Shank Racing will also capture the GTD Teams title at the same time.
• This will be Acura’s first major championship for the NSX GT3, in its third year of competition, after finishing a close second in last year’s IMSA GTD title fight.
• In a repeat of last year, the GTD Manufacturers’ Championship is once again a tight battle, with Lamborghini holding a one-point edge [269-268] over Acura. Porsche, ranked third with 261 points, also is in contention for the title. The other six GTD manufacturers – Lexus, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren and Audi – have been eliminated from championship contention.
• As in the overall WeatherTech championship, Acura is in the thick of the battle for the Michelin Endurance Cup GTD Manufacturers’ Championship. Mercedes-AMG leads with 29 points; followed by Ferrari with 27; Acura, Audi and Lamborghini all with 26 points. Porsche with 22 points, BMW and Lexus (21 points each) remain in mathematical contention.
• In the GTD Endurance Cup Drivers’ Championship, Farnbacher, Hindman and Marks will start Petit Le Mans with 25 points, only four points out of the lead.
• For 2019, MSR has entered into a partnership with businesswoman/racer Jackie Heinricher and sponsor Caterpillar to field the #57 Acura NSX GT3 Evo for an all-female driver lineup anchored by four-time Acura race winner Katherine Legge. Legge stands tenth in the GTD Drivers’ Championship with 172 points. She will share driving duties with Bia Figueiredo and Christina Nielsen in the #57 this weekend.