NEW YORK -- Acura Vice President and General Manager Jon Ikeda gave TAPintoTV a peek at two of the company’s racing cars, which can been seen on track at The Rolex 24 at Daytona race this weekend. Acura’s driver lineup features some of the most accomplished names in motorsports, such as Helio Castroneves, Alexander Rossi and Juan Pablo Montoya. Also notable this year is that one of the four Acura teams features a groundbreaking all-women driving lineup.
The Rolex 24 at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida is the official start of the 2019 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, and also marks the 50th anniversary of the IMSA organization.
Acura Motorsports has expanded its involvement in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, continuing its partnership with Team Penske to run a pair of new Acura ARX-05 DPi prototypes. This year’s entries follow Acura’s successful 2018 efforts where they placed 2nd in the Manufacturer’s championship in both prototype and GTD fields.
“We’re going back to our roots, which is precision-crafted performance,” said Ikeda. “It plays up the true intent for us: to be known as a performance brand.”
The No. 57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 team has four women drivers, and is also co-owned by businesswoman Jackie Heinricher. They are not the first all-women team to enter in the Rolex 24, but the high visibility of this team may encourage more women to become involved in professional motorsports.
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of all professional sports and has been racing for 52 years. Acura joined forces with Penske in 2018. “We have a partnership with Roger Penske himself,” said Ikeda, “and we’re so excited that he partnered with us and that we’re racing.”
TAPintoTV will be following the race this weekend, and is looking forward to seeing Acura at The 2019 New York International Auto Show, to be held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City this April.