IMSA outfits Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing will both be fielding an Acura ARX-05 in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, starting in 2021.
The two teams take over the Acura DPi programme from Team Penske, which has opted to end its partnership with Acura at the end of the year.
“It is a pleasure to announce that Wayne Taylor Racing will be joining the Acura ARX-05 IMSA program in 2021, along with Meyer Shank Racing, which will build on our very successful partnership by moving up to the prototype ranks,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura Brand Officer. “We’re confident that both teams will help us build on the successes we’ve achieved to date in IMSA competition, as we continue to apply Precision Crafted Performance to all of our activities – on the race circuits of North America, in our production vehicles, and in the market place.
“We also want to thank Roger Penske, who has long been an important part of the Acura family as one of our great Acura dealers. It has been a privilege to have Roger as part of the Acura Motorsports family over the past three years.”
For Wayne Taylor Racing, it marks a departure from the Cadillac DPi-VR machinery with which it has won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
“While Wayne Taylor Racing has been enjoying much success with Cadillac over the past several years, Acura and Honda Performance Division (HPD) have also had considerable success,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “All of us at Wayne Taylor Racing are looking forward to partnering with Acura and HPD and adding to their achievements.
“Our new partnership with Acura and HPD provides us with the long-term stability necessary to properly invest in the program and remain championship contenders for years to come.”
It will announce the driver line-up for the #10 Acura ARX-05 at later date.
Back to prototypes for MSR
Meyer Shank Racing, meanwhile, will return to prototype racing after a number of years running the Acura NSX GT3 program in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship’s GTD category.
The Ohio-based squad has been racing prototype machinery in North American competition since the early 2000’s. It won the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona with a Ford-powered Riley, and when Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series merged into what would become the current top-level sportscar series in the United States, the team began campaigning a Honda-powered Ligier JS P217 in 2015 and 2016.
This tenure included a start in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with John Pew, Ozz Negri and current Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor, as well as a win in the 2016 Petit Le Mans when Pew and Negri partnered Olivier Pla.
“We have worked for so many years to get a championship title and I think that partnering with Acura back in 2017 was just what we, as a team, needed to make that happen,” said Mike Shank. “We’ve continued to push for podiums and victories, and the performance that Acura brings to the table in such a competitive series is exactly what we needed to get the job done.”
“When Acura and HPD chose Meyer Shank Racing to debut the Acura NSX GT3 in 2017, it was a big moment in our history,” continued Shank. “I’m really proud of building a championship-winning program and everything that we’ve been able to accomplish together with the NSX.
As a team, we’ve been working towards the opportunity to go and fight for overall wins for a long time, and I am thrilled to be making this announcement and eager to get going with this DPi program. But we have some work to do first, and we are 100% focused on bringing another IMSA championship home with the Acura NSX in 2020.”
“Mike (Shank) and I are both eager to expand our IMSA program and get to once again work with Acura and Honda Performance Development,” said MSR co-owner, Jim Meyer. “Mike has built such a strong IMSA program over the last decade and this is another step that we’re looking forward to pursuing.”