Ricky Taylor claims pole in qualifying for the season-ending IMSA endurance contest
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evos seeks GTD championship repeat
Stage set for Saturday championship showdowns in DPi and GTD
SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2020) – Ricky Taylor claimed the second WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole of 2020 Friday at Sebring International Raceway as Acura and Team Penske seek second consecutive IMSA titles; while Shinya Michimi qualified his Acura NSX GT3 Evo in eighth as Meyer Shank Racing seeks to repeat as GTD champions. Both championships will be decided in Saturday’s season-ending 12-hour endurance race.
Acura Team Penske
Taylor took his #7 ARX-05 to the pole, his second of 2020 and the seventh for Acura Team Penske, edging primary championship rival Renger van der Zande’s Cadillac in a hard-fought 15-minute session.
Taylor and full-season teammate Helio Castroneves come to Sebring with a two-point lead in the DPi Drivers’ Championship over the Wayne Taylor Racing duo of van der Zande and teammate Ryan Briscoe. Acura trails Cadillac by just a single point in the Manufacturers’ Championship contest, so the higher-finishing marque will win the title.
Taylor and Castroneves will share the driving duties in the #7 Acura ARX-05 with former Indianpolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi tomorrow; while teammate Dane Cameron qualified third in the #6 Acura he will share with Juan Pablo Montoya and another former Indy winner, Simon Pagenaud.
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
The GTD class championship-leading #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT-3 Evo qualified eighth with Shinya Michimi at the wheel. MSR is seeking their second consecutive championship with full-season driver Mario Farnbacher and their first with Matt McMurry.
Currently, the pair holds a seven-point advantage in the GTD Drivers’ title chase, while Acura holds a two-point advantage over Lexus and three points over Porsche in the Manufacturers’ Championship battle.
The #57 Heinricher Racing with MSR Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 Evo will roll off 12th on the grid with Misha Goikhberg, 2019 GTD champion Trent Hindman and 2012 Sebring winner Joey Hand – filling in for regular driver Alvaro Parente this weekend.
Where to Watch
Television coverage from Sebring begins at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. ET Saturday on the NBC Sports Network. Network coverage on NBC takes over from 3-6 p.m. ET and coverage concludes on the NBC Sports Network from 6-10:30 p.m. ET. Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSN Gold with NBCSN Trackpass authentication.
Ricky Taylor (#7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) pole qualifier, Taylor’s second pole of 2020, seventh for Acura Team Penske, championship points leader heading into tomorrow’s final race of the season: “It’s such an amazing way to end the championship. If you’re a fan, you want it to come down to the last race. Basically, whoever wins the race wins the championship. I don’t think you could’ve scripted it any better. To be racing [for the championship] against the #10 car [Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, a team owned by his father], is really weird, but also fun. I wouldn’t rather be racing against anyone else.”