Compass Racing announced Thursday (April 29) that they will be returning to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021 for the WeatherTech Sprint Cup races only. The team will switch from the McLaren 720S GT3 to the Acura NSX GT3. With McLaren out, that means that McLaren factory driver Paul Holton is out as well. Mario Farnbacher and Jeff Kingsley will drive the No. 76 Acura. Sponsorship will be provided by Richard Mille watches.
Kingsley is not a completely new presence with the team. After previous driver Corey Fergus‘ wife was expecting their first child, Kingsley was called in to sub at Charlotte Motor Speedway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca so that Fergus wouldn’t miss his child’s birth. Kingsley’s best finish was ninth in the wet at Charlotte. Outside of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Kingsley was the 2020 IMSA Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup champion (now Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by the Cayman Islands), winning 11 of 16 races.
“The two races I did with Compass last year paved the way for this opportunity, and I’m excited to get the season under way in Ohio,” Kingsley said in a press release. “Mid-Ohio is close to the Honda factory that builds the NSX, and with the track set to welcome at least 20,000 fans we’ll be racing to bring the staff there a great results at their home track!”
While Farnbacher is new to Compass Racing, he is far from new to either Acura or the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Farnbacher is the two-time and defending GT Daytona class champion, winning both of those titles with Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian. When the Shank team moved up to the DPi class with the Acura ARX-05, Farnbacher was left without a ride. He raced for Magnus with Archangel in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, finishing 11th in class, but missed Sebring.
“I’m proud to once again represent HPD as a Factory Driver,” Farnbacher stated. “I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of an NSX GT3 Evo, and to work with my new team and team-mate to bring more podiums and wins for Acura.”
The WeatherTech Sprint Cup is IMSA’s championship-within-a-championship for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona class. The Sprint Cup was originally scheduled to start at Long Beach on April 17, but due to the entire Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend being postponed to September, it will now start at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 16. The Sprint Cup will be eight sprint races, six on natural terrain road courses and two street races that is scheduled to finish up at VIR in October.
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Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.