Alton, Va. (21 August) – Qualifying at Virginia International Raceway saw the top eight GTD machines separated by just three-tenths of a second with Misha Goikhberg closing out the session eighth in the No. 57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 for Saturday’s Michelin GT Challenge.
Limited track time due to heavy rain forced Goikhberg and teammate Alvaro Parente to rely on the team’s early morning set up ahead of the 15-minute qualifying run on Friday. With Meyer Shank Racing claiming podium finishes the previous two years, the team fortunately had a solid baseline heading into the event weekend.
The pair completed just 24 laps between the first two practice sessions on Friday. Goikhberg tested the waters – literally – with an out lap during the second practice session when heavy rains took over the track.
“There was just so much standing water it didn’t make sense for us to go out on track,” explained Goikhberg. “I don’t think the series would qualify under those conditions so we decided to just hold off on the session.”
Luckily, a dry line was established in the afternoon and Goikhberg headed back out on track for the 15-minute qualifying run. Finishing out the session, Goikhberg put the No. 57 Acura eighth on the grid for the Michelin GT Challenge on Saturday. The top eight cars were separated by just three-tenths of a second.
“The field is extremely tight and unfortunately we lacked a tenth or two,” said Goikhberg. “Our tires took a bit longer to come in, so hopefully that means we will have less degradation than our competition tomorrow. Passing is tricky here so I will have to make the start count.”
Saturday’s Michelin GT Challenge is set for a green flag start at 2:00pm ET with coverage on TRACKPASS by NBC Sports Gold. The race will air on Sunday, August 23 on NBCSN at 10:00am ET.