24 Hours of Daytona Winners Caught Fudging Data but Retain Trophy

  • After winning the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona in January, Meyer Shank Racing is penalized for manipulating tire pressure data sent to IMSA during the race.
  • The team loses 200 points in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, owner Mike Shank is placed on probation, and one engineer is suspended indefinitely.
  • However, the team remains the official winner of the race and will be allowed to keep the trophy, with the drivers holding the Rolex prize watches.

When the green flag flew for the final restart with 27 minutes remaining in the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona, the no. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 ahead and cruised to victory by just over four seconds. But now the team is coming under fire, with IMSA handing out significant penalties after Meyer Shank Racing was found to have manipulated tire pressure data during the race.

no 60 acura arx06 in technical inspection at the 2023 24 hours of daytona

marc urban|Car and Driver

After the race, Honda Performance Development (HPD)—which works closely with teams that run top-of-the-line Acura GTP race cars—made deviations in the no. 60’s data noticed and an investigation launched. They discovered that Meyer Shank Racing had made “intentional software offsets” in the tire pressures reported by the monitoring system – basically, the team was artificially inflating the tire pressure data so the numbers sent to IMSA were higher than the pressure they were actually running.

This allowed Meyer Shank Racing to run its pressure below the prescribed minimums set by Michelin, which supplies the tires for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which can help improve traction under acceleration or in corners.

no 60 acura arx06 at the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona

Caleb Miller|Car and Driver

As a result of HPD’s discovery, the team and the drivers of the no. 60—Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud—stripped of 200 of the 350 points earned in the race to the full-season WeatherTech Championship. They also lost all points going to the Michelin Endurance Cup, which includes all races that are at least six hours long.

The team and drivers are also fined $50,000 and must return the prize money from winning the 24 Hours of Daytona. Team owner Mike Shank is now on probation until June 30, while engineer Ryan McCarthy is on indefinite suspension and has lost his IMSA credentials.

However, the official race results stand, meaning that the no. 60 is still the winner, with the team able to retain the trophy and the four drivers retaining the Rolex watches awarded as prizes.

In a statement, Meyer Shank Racing said “We accept the series’ decision and have taken responsibility.” The team also said that “the team member who was responsible is no longer with the organization” and that they “don’t want this mistake to ruin the tremendous effort that our team, drivers and all our partners have put into this new LMDh car. ” This suggests that McCarthy acted alone in manipulating the data, and that it was not a concerted effort by the team as a whole to break the rules in an attempt to win the race.

HPD said in a statement from President David Salters“We are extremely disappointed in the misconduct of the Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) team” and to have the two-year development of the ARX-06 “called into question is unacceptable.”

Header from Caleb Miller

Associate News Editor

Caleb Miller began blogging about cars at the age of 13, and he realized his dream of writing for an automotive magazine after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and attending the Car and Driver team. He loves quirky and obscure cars, aiming to one day own something outlandish like a Nissan S-Cargo, and is an avid motorsport fan.