Race Weekend Central

Meyer Shank Racing Pauses IMSA Program for 2024

Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian announced Tuesday (Oct. 3) that they are pausing their IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program at the end of the 2023 season. For 2024, the team will solely focus on the NTT IndyCar Series.

“Making the decision to take a year away from IMSA was not an easy one by any means,” team co-owner Michael Shank said in a statement. “Our guys live and breathe this team, and have committed most of their lives to working on these cars and traveling to races – and many of them have been with us for nearly 20 years. For Jim [Meyer] and I, our main focus was getting our guys set and making sure they were all going to be OK, which we were able to do.”

For 2024, the team will run two full-time cars in the NTT IndyCar Series for current WeatherTech racer Tom Blomqvist and former Arrow McLaren SP driver Felix Rosenqvist. The team will also field a third entry at the Indianapolis 500 for Helio Castroneves.

“There are a lot of projects that we have going at the shop, and of course some of the guys will be helping with our growing INDYCAR program,” Shank continued. “The third Indianapolis 500 entry for [Castroneves] is a very big deal and I’m glad to have the right people in place to help us be as ready as possible for him to go get that fifth one. And then when we need to prepare for the IMSA program, we’ll still have this great group together and ready to go.”

Based on the previous statement, Shank expects this departure from IMSA to be only temporary.

Taking a step away from sports car racing is a big step for the Ohio-based team. They have been full-time in sports cars since 2004 after they were lured away from the Toyota Atlantic Championship to field a Daytona Prototype in Grand-Am.

Over the years, the team became a mainstay in Daytona Prototypes, first fielding a Doran JE4, then a Riley Mk. XI. The team stuck with Riley chassis until the end of the DP era.

In 2017, the team was Honda’s choice to run a factory Acura NSX GT3 program. Two cars were fielded in the then-GT Daytona class for Ozz Negri and Jeff Segal (No. 86) and Andy Lally and Katherine Legge (No. 93). The team continued racing the NSX as a customer team through the end of 2019. That year, they won the GT Daytona championship with Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman.

In 2020, the team switched back to prototypes, using the Acura ARX-05 in the DPi class and wrapped up the class with a championship last year for Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis.

This year, MSR has raced as one of HPD (now HRC)’s factory programs in the GTP class alongside Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport. The team won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the first-ever race for the Acura ARX-06. That victory was tainted by scandal as a cheat perpetrated by engineer Ryan McCarthy, without the knowledge of HPD or MSR was discovered in March. That led to substantial penalties.

See also
Meyer Shank Racing Penalized For Air Pressure Data Offsets At Rolex 24

McCarthy was fired by MSR after the penalty was assessed. As of this writing, McCarthy is still suspended from IMSA.

The 200-point penalty took the team out of the hunt for the championship almost immediately. If it were not assessed, Blomqvist and Colin Braun would actually be leading the GTP points by 73 points instead of 127 back in sixth.

About the author

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.

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