Shank To Enter All-Female Team In IMSA In 2019
Michael Shank Racing announced on Friday that they have entered into a partnership with Heinricher Racing LLC and Caterpillar CAT to enter Katherine Legge, Simona De Silvestro and Bia Figueiredo (Ana Beatriz) in the No.57 MSR Acura NXS GT3 for 2019.
The trio will compete in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Raceway. The entire 2019 WhetherTech IMSA Championship.
The team are also aiming to enter the 88th 24 Hours of LeMans.
Victoria Morrissey, Global Marketing and Brand Director with Caterpillar said:
Caterpillar is committed to a diverse workplace that’s representative of the customers we serve around the world. “Women are an important, valuable part of our global team and this all-female race team is an example of how we support them.”
Jackie Heinricher of Heinricher Racing LLC said:
“I am honored to partner with CAT and to have their support, “My vision has long been to bring together a diverse team of fourfemale drivers, some of the fastest globally, to join forces to compete together, and with the support of CAT, I get to see my long held vision become reality.” I am excited to be joining Michael Shank and the entire winning MSR team in this amazing partnership and to have the honor to compete with Katherine, Ana, and Simona.” Heinricher Racing LLC will continue to build upon this innovative racing program with the exciting addition of development driver, Loni Unser.
MSR team owner Michael Shank commented on the news saying:
This is truly a groundbreaking effort for next year, not only for us as a team but for the series as well.
It’s great to have Katherine (Legge) back with us, she has been doing great this season as we fight for the championship. I also want to thank Jackie (Heinricher) for developing the Caterpillar partnership and we are excited to have her on board. Simona (De Silvestro) and Bia (Figueiredo) are also very strong talents, and hopefully with them all joined together we can make a statement next year.”
Katherine Legge commented on the news saying:
It feels great, I have always wanted to do something like this to show the appeal of racing to a wider audience. “Jackie (Heinricher) has done an amazing job to create this opportunity and develop this partnership. I’m thrilled to be working with Simona (De Silvestro) and Bia (Figueiredo), and it is exciting to return to Meyer Shank Racing with the Acura NSX GT3. We’ve had great success and we are looking forward to building on that starting at Daytona.”
Former IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro commented on the news saying:
“It’s pretty exciting and I think for sure the line up that we have is really strong,” said De Silvestro. “All of us girls have a lot of credibility and I think it will be quite exciting so I’m really looking forward to Daytona. I think the team dynamic will be very strong. For myself, it will be a little bit of learning but I am looking forward to it. It’s quite a special feeling to be a part of such a good team that has had a lot of success so I think this is going to be a great car to be in and to give us all a strong shot. I just can’t wait to go racing in Daytona, which I have always dreamt about.”
Former IndyCar driver Bia Figueiredo commented by saying:
I never thought this could happen in my career if you were to ask me a few years ago but it feels pretty exciting. “I’ve known Katherine (Legge) and Simona (De Silvestro) for a long time and they had great success where they have raced. The MSR team is always fighting for wins and championships in IMSA and I am sure they will do the best they can to get this girl power team in high positions. I can’t wait to be in the car for such important races like Daytona where I’ve never raced before but I’ve always dreamt about.