Pataskala, Ohio (9 April 2023) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) looks to build on its rich heritage at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca when it returns for this weekend’s Motul Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N, the fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
MSR returns to the scenic 2.238-mile circuit – highlighted by the iconic Corkscrew turn – with the No. 60 Acura ARX-06 driven by Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun in the lead GTP class.
Blomqvist will be making his third start at WeatherTech Raceway. He finished second for MSR last year in the Acura ARX-05 DPi, and placed fifth in GTLM in 2019.
Braun has been competing at the circuit since 2006. He raced three times in Grand-Am, finishing third in his first start at the circuit in a Daytona Prototype. The Texan competed twice in ALMS, winning in 2012 and taking the pole and placing second in 2013, both in the PC class. He’s raced six times in IMSA competition, with three podiums including second in 2018 and third in 2016.
MSR’s rich history at the circuit originally known as Laguna Seca Raceway dates back to 2005, when Ozz Negri gave Michael Shank’s Daytona Prototype its first pole in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series competition in the Brazilian driver’s debut with the team. That performance promoted co-driver Mark Patterson to join the team full-time – allowing Shank to continue at sports car racing’s highest level.
Negri returned in 2006 to qualify second at Laguna Seca, and joined Patterson in a third-place finish the following year at the renamed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. MSR placed fifth in both 2009 and 2011, and finished fourth in 2012 with Negri and John Pew – a race that saw the team lead 37 of the 111 circuits.
Negri and Pew combined to win the 2016 event in a Ligier JS P2 – MSR’s fifth Prototype victory, and first since the Grand-Am/ALMS merger that resulted in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
When MSR turned its focus to GTD as Acura’s factory team in 2017, the team finished runner up in the 2017 edition of the event. Laguna Seca gave MSR another milestone in 2018, when Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente won their second race in the new Acura NSX GT3. MSR’s 2020 GTD championship season was highlighted by a double-podium at Laguna, a race won by Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry, with Parente and Misha Goikburg taking third.
MSR returned to prototypes with the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 DPi in 2021, with Dane Cameron and Olivier Pla earning their third podium finish of the campaign with a third-place finish at WeatherTech Raceway. Last year’s DPi championship run saw Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis begin a streak of five-consecutive second-place finishes at Laguna Seca.
Qualifying for the Motul Course de Monterey begins at 3:55pm ET (GTP qualifying to begin at 4:45pm ET) on Saturday. The two-hour, 40-minute race takes the green flag at 3:10pm ET on Sunday. Live television coverage will be on NBC beginning at noon and it will also be broadcast on SiriusXM channel 207.
IMSA Driver Quotes:
“I think we have high hopes for Laguna. The Acura GTP car has shown tremendous performance at a variety of tracks and I believe Laguna will be no different. We’ve had some tough luck the last two races, with events out of our control influencing our results. The team has executed really well and we are ready to fight for the win! Everyone at Acura, HPD, & MSR have been working so hard and they deserve a great result.”
“We’re coming off of two races that havent really gone to plan. Laguna is going to be a track that we are going to need to reset at so we can get back on track for the championship hunt. Laguna is a track that I really enjoy, it’s a beautiful part of the country. We have no references going into the weekend – the GTP cars are all new going into this year. But Acura, HPD and MSR have done such a fantastic job with the car that I am pretty confident that we can fight for victory. That going to be the goal – win the race and get our championship back on track.”