Acura's Daytona BoP "a tough pill to swallow"
The pre-race Balance of Performance adjustment given to Acura's NSX GT3 Evo ahead of the Rolex 24 at Daytona was a "tough pill to swallow" for Meyer Shank Racing.
The defending GT Daytona class champion outfit's #86 car finished a distant 10th in class during last weekend's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship curtain-raiser, 18 laps down on the winning Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
That was after a broken splitter forced the car driven by Mario Farnbacher, Matt McMurry, Shinya Michimi and Jules Gounon into the garage shortly beyond the halfway point of the race, although neither of the two NSXs in the field featured in the lead battle.
Team owner Mike Shank pinned the blame for his team's lack of competitiveness on the Acura being handed a 25kg minimum weight increase and a power reduction worth around 7.5bhp in the wake of the Roar Before the 24 test, robbing the car of vital top speed.
"We simply did not have a BoP to have any power to compete with these guys," said Shank. "We were just given the wrong set of boost and it rendered us spineless – we just didn’t have the punch we needed to go down the long straightaways.
"It’s really frustrating to me because we have such a great effort – and the execution from everyone – HPD, Acura, my team and drivers.
"To not be rewarded for our execution is a tough pill to swallow. This is the one event that we haven’t won yet with the NSX, so it was disappointing for sure.”
Farnbacher added: “We are missing a significant amount of pace in comparison to our competitors. Our top speed is not the best and we fought with the balance of the car because of some new factors that we needed to implement for the race weekend.
"Having a broken splitter did not help us since it required repair which cost us 16 laps. We did everything that we could to stay competitive, but this was a tough one for us."
The sister #57 car, run under the Heinricher Racing banner, fared little better as Alvaro Parente, Misha Goikhberg, Trent Hindman and AJ Allmendinger ended up eighth and two laps off the class lead, also suffering from a lack of straightline speed.
“That was quite a strange race," reflected Parente. "Looking at the averages, we struggled to be competitive. I think the reduction in power was way too much.
"That means as drivers, we have to try and hope for a miracle. Things don’t go smoothly, you’re extra tired, you’re defending all the time.
"My first stint was a long one and the last 30 minutes were on old tires which killed me on track position straightaway. Due to things out of our control, we didn’t have much of a chance this weekend."
Team boss Jackie Heinricher added: "We had really great strategy calls and we were always in a good position to be in the top five. Unfortunately, we battled with a BoP that really hindered our ability to have a chance at a podium.
"Even with that challenge, this team did an amazing job and I’m looking forward to having another shot at a top three finish in Sebring.”
#57 Heinricher Racing w/MSR Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3, GTD: Alvaro Parente, Misha Goikhberg, Trent Hindman, AJ Allmendinger
Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images
Risi Ferrari was "struggling to outperform GTD cars"
Mazda’s second place “like a victory” after previous troubles