At the Roar Before the 24, Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian enjoyed an auspicious start to the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In the hands of Bia Figueiredo, the No. 57 Caterpillar Acura NSX GT3 Evo topped the qualifying time sheets with a lap of 1:45.537 (121.43o miles per hour). For the Daytona 24 later this month, Figueiredo will join Katherine Legge, a four-time GTD winner, and 2018 championship runner-up., along with Indianapolis 500 veterans Simona de Silvestro and Bia Figueiredo (Ana Beatriz), along with two-time IMSA champion Christina Nielsen substituting for the injured Jackie Heinricher. Significantly, this is the first time since 1994 that an all-female team have contested the Rolex 24. The results of ‘Roar” qualifying set the priority among teams for garage and pit selection. Race qualifying will occur prior to the January 26-27 twice around the clock event.
Different Name, Same Great Driver
Bia Figueiredo, who had formerly raced under the name of Ana Beatriz, an anglicized contraction of her name in Portuguese, remarked: “It’s a pleasure to be here in Daytona for the first time. I had the job to qualify today, and they said ‘Drive as fast as you can’, and that’s what I did. It shows we’ve got a very good car, and a really strong team. To be part of the show is really nice, and I’m very happy.”
Second Meyer Shanks Acura NSX
The sister #86 car’s pace wasn’t quite as strong, but impressive nonetheless. IMSA race winner Trent Hindman put the LaSalle Solutions Acura NSX GT3 Evo third on the grid with a time of 1:45.657. Later this month, Hindman will co-pilot the car with NASCAR and Rolex 24 race winners Justin Marks and A.J. Allmendinger, along with Mario Farnbacher.
In three weeks’ time, these two teams will return to Daytona International Speedway for one of the most illustrious events in American endurance racing. The Rolex 24, the twice-around-the-clock endurance contest that kicks off the 2019
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, takes place January 26-27.