Justin and MSR aiming high at the Daytona 24 Hours Justin, RuSPORT Champ Car team-mate A.J. Allmendinger and fellow Michael Shank Racing drivers Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will be going all out to win this weekend's Rolex 24 At Daytona,...
Justin and MSR aiming high at the Daytona 24 Hours
Justin, RuSPORT Champ Car team-mate A.J. Allmendinger and fellow Michael Shank Racing drivers Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will be going all out to win this weekend's Rolex 24 At Daytona, the first race of the season in Grand American's Rolex Sports Car Series.
In early January the four drivers had a successful test in the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley car - a closed-cockpit, 500 bhp mid-engined Daytona Prototype - and were consistently amongst the fastest runners during three days of practice.
For Justin and A.J. their usual roles as competitive team-mates at RuSPORT are a bit different for this event. In what is expected to be one of the most closely contested 24 hour events ever, collaboration is the name of the game. "It's different getting ready for this race because its not just two drivers, there are four drivers working together," explained Justin. "Everything is a bit different, and you are trying to understand between the four people what everyone is looking for, and ultimately how to make the car go quicker for everyone, rather than being focused on just yourself and your car like we tend to be in Champ Car."
Michael Shank Racing, which led early and went on to finish fourth in their Daytona 24 Hours debut in 2004, knows that it will take a lot of things to go right to make it into victory circle. Team owner Mike Shank is pleased with what he has seen from Justin and A.J. in testing leading up to the race. "We expected a lot out of them, but they have really exceeded our goals on just about every front," he said. "Justin has some experience in these kinds of races, and A.J. is just a bulldog in the car, so they are a great addition for us. We were also impressed with how focused they are, and they have also done a really good job working with Oz and Mark not just on set-up, but also working together to sort out our driver changes and some of the other small details that can have a big effect during the race."
The 44th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will get underway at midday local time (17.00 UK time) on Saturday.