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IMSA Mosport

Shank: IMSA win was for those who said “nasty things” after Daytona 24 Hours

Mike Shank says his team’s IMSA SportsCar Championship victory on Sunday was a riposte to “people that said a lot of nasty things” following the controversial Daytona 24 Hours.

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Michael Shank

Shank’s Acura ARX-06 scored its second GTP victory of the season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, following the deduction of 200 points due to tyre data manipulation after its Daytona success – a victory it was allowed to keep in the record books as the rules transgression was only found after the results were declared official.

Colin Braun – who shared the win with Tom Blomqvist – drove an epic 1h16m final stint at CTMP but was fortunate that three cautions occurred for crashes, allowing him to save energy with his hybrid-powered Acura.

The car had been dominating the race early on, until losing time in the pits under the first full-course caution.

“We lost some track position on that one pit exchange, we just had a little problem that put us in third,” Shank told NBC. “We could see we weren’t going to pass our way up to the lead, and we missed a pit entry, they closed the pits so we had to stay out [at the next caution], and we were like ‘well, screw it, let’s just go’.

“We were either going to win it or finish eighth and I’m not here to finish eighth anymore. So, I just want say one thing, there’s a lot of people that said a lot of nasty things about my team, my family, my partner Jim Meyer since January and I just want to say this [victory] is for them.

“This is all due to the work from HPD and Acura and the MSR team, this is an incredible machine and it’s really purpose-built for a track like this, so we thank everyone involved.”

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Braun had a five-second lead over Filipe Albuquerque in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura when the final caution flew for Renger van der Zande’s huge wreck in his GTP Cadillac inside the final five minutes of the 2h40m race.

“The Acura cars have been fast all week, and our team specifically worked hard,” said Braun. “Those yellows played into our favour and I still had a bit of fuel to save, but I knew if I could get a good jump and kind of push hard and build a gap for a lap or two, I could settle in and hit the fuel number. It was a lot of fun.

“It was tough, I knew Filipe had pitted so he was good on fuel, so for me it was all about getting a good restart and build a bit of a gap and go into fuel-saving mode. I was really surprised with the pace on the fuel save, once we got to the traffic I knew I’d be strong, as I gapped him before on the stint before in traffic quite a lot.

“Just super proud. We’ve been close and had good pace all year, so great to convert it to a win and definitely had to work for it.”

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Blomqvist added: “Obviously we had a challenging period after the first round [alluding to the Daytona fallout]. We put it all out there today. We’ve been really quick all week, today was just about converting.

“Colin is so good around here, taught me a lot in prep before qualifying, and he loves these high-speed corners. We were a perfect combo for this track this weekend.

“We looked like we might have been on the back foot at one point, but we rolled the dice there by staying out and the racing Gods were looking down on us and gave us those yellows.

“The only way we were going to win that race was if the yellows kind of played into our corner. Thankfully, they did.

“I’m just so happy for the guys. They’ve worked their back sides off all year long, really. This car has been a lot of work. We haven’t had the greatest run of recent races, so to get the pole and finish the job off is just amazing.”

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