IMSA: Winning Rolex 24 team penalized for cheating (Update)
–by Mark Cipolloni–
Meyer Shank Racing competitors are now questioning how long the team has been manipulating tire pressures against the rules?
The discovery taints not only the victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but the result in last year’s Rolex 24 and their victory in the season-ending Petit Le Mans last year, where Meyer Shank Racing clinched the DPi WeatherTech Championship.
IMSA disbarred of race engineer Ryan McCarthy and the team has fired him, but many people in the team had to know what was going on, from the people who put air in the tire (they had to know they were being asked to use a lower pressure) all the way up to team owner Mike Shank.
We suppose we will never know exactly when the cheating started or how the teams would have performed without it.
March 9, 2023
For decades, it was always cheat-to-win-in NASCAR. No matter how much you cheated, you would keep your win in the record books – just pay your fine. That has changed recently where NASCAR could, we repeat could, strip you of your win.
NASCAR owns IMSA.
Meyer Shank Racing has received significant penalties and sanctions by IMSA after the team essentially cheated to win.
The team manipulated tire pressure data in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud-driven Acura won the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener but was later found to have made “intentional software offsets” within the tire pressures being reported by the tire pressure monitor system.
All cars are required to fall within Michelin’s prescribed minimum tire pressure mandates, which is monitored by the sanctioning body during the event.
As outlined in Attachment 3.6.6.E of the WeatherTech Championship sporting regulations, failure to adhere to the operational requirements is prohibited and subject to a range of penalties, although any violation may be penalized to the full extent listed in Article 57.
The discovery, made by Honda Performance Development, came after IMSA posted the official race results for the Florida endurance classic.
Both the team and drivers have lost 200 of its 350 WeatherTech Championship points earned in the race, all team and driver points from the Michelin Endurance Cup, loss of race prize money as well as a $50,000 fine.
Additionally, team owner Mike Shank has been placed on probation through June 30 and engineer Ryan McCarthy has been stripped of his IMSA credential and placed on indefinite suspension.
Per IMSA, no changes will be made to the official race results, with the No. 60 team retaining the victory, race trophy and race-winning watches. See the first paragraph above.
MSR Owns up to Cheating
“We accept the series’ decision and have taken responsibility,” a statement from MSR supplied to Sportscar365 read.
“We want to apologize to everyone at Acura, HPD, and all of our partners. We have dealt with this issue internally and the team member that was responsible is no longer with the organization.
“We do not want this error to overshadow the tremendous effort that our team, drivers and all of our partners have put forth to develop this new LMDh car.
“We consider this matter closed and are fully focused on resetting and coming back for the Twelve Hours of Sebring.”
HPD Pissed Off
HPD statement on the Daytona penalty involving the No. 60 MSR GTP team.