IMSA Wire: Acura Wins First WeatherTech Championship Race with Legge, Lally in Detroit

Subject: IMSA Wire: Acura Wins First WeatherTech Championship R

June 3, 2017

Staff Report

IMSA Wire Service

DETROIT – Masterful pit strategy from the Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian crew and flawless driving by co-drivers Andy Lally and Katherine Legge delivered a history-making first global victory for the new Acura NSX GT3 in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle Park.

It was the strongest weekend to date for the first-year IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program, as Legge qualified the No. 93 Acura second Friday afternoon and ran comfortably in second place throughout her driving stint before pitting under caution just past the 30-minute mark in the race. With track position at a premium, team owner Mike Shank decided to change only two tires during the pit stop, which vaulted Lally into the lead.

That pit stop made all the difference. Lally managed to keep the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Balzan in his mirrors for the remainder of the race and went on to win by 2.441 seconds.

“I wanted three tires, because I wanted a right-front hot tire when we came out,” Lally said. “(Shank) made the decision to just put in left sides to save time. I plugged my last belt in and he said, ‘Go.’ We had another second on them. It was perfect tires and a really fast driver change. We knew the right front would be OK by the end, but the right rear was really just skating over by the end of the race.”

In addition to making history for the manufacturer, Legge made personal history, earning her first career WeatherTech Championship race victory.

“It’s a testament to the team,” Legge said. “The team gave us a car that was capable of winning. The team has really been working hard between each race. We’ve been strong at points, but today we put it together. Today was the longest hour of my life watching Andy drive. I was telepathically talking to him. It was harder to watch than actually drive. Thank you to everyone who has given us a chance to put together this car and this ride.”

There were two women on the GTD podium at Detroit. Christina Nielsen partnered with Balzan to take second. Nielsen and Balzan are defending WeatherTech Championship GTD champions.

Finishing third were No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 co-drivers Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers. Snow claimed the final podium spot in the closing minutes of the race, getting around Jeff Segal, who was aiming to give Acura two podium spots in the No. 86 NSX.

GTD pole-winner Lawson Aschenbach led the first 30 minutes of the race in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS. Co-driver Andrew Davis was positioned for at least a podium result after taking over in the car, before a driveline issue removed the car from contention.

The next WeatherTech Championship race is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen from Watkins Glen International on Sunday, July 2. The race – which also represents the third round of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup – will feature all four WeatherTech Championship classes.

Results for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic are available at Results.IMSA.com.

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