IMSA issues heavy penalties on Shank's winning Rolex 24 team

Meyer Shank Racing has fired the technical director for its sports car team after IMSA ruled Wednesday the team manipulated tire pressure data while winning the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

IMSA said that Honda Performance Development self-reported the manipulation after the results of the January race were official. IMSA said it conducted a thorough review that included comparing data from all the cars in the top GTP class.

The No. 60 ARX-06 was driven by Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves. It was the second consecutive Rolex 24 victory for MSR.

MSR was allowed to keep the win, its Rolex watches and the trophy, but IMSA levied six substantial penalties against the team on Wednesday that included the indefinite suspension of "team engineer" Ryan McCarthy.

"We accept the series' decision and have taken responsibility," MSR said in a statement. "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."

Among the other penalties issued against MSR were a $50,000 fine, loss of all race prize money and team owner Mike Shank was placed on probation through June 30. MSR is the reigning IMSA championship team.

IMSA races this weekend at the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

"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," MSR said in its statement. "We consider this matter closed and are fully focused on resetting and coming back for the Twelve Hours of Sebring."