Double Entry for Michael Shank Racing for Watkins Glen Saturday Night Sprint
Watkins Glen, N.Y. (11 August 2011) – Michael Shank Racing returns to a two-car effort this weekend as the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series makes an encore visit to Watkins Glen International for the 10th race of the 2011 season.
The second Watkins Glen race will see the series utilize the track’s 2.45-mile short course which has proven a successful place for Michael Shank Racing in years past.
Zak Brown and former Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell will reunite in the No. 23 United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing entry while John Pew and Ozz Negri will once again contest the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley.
The track, which boasts the highest average speed of any on the GRAND-AM circuit, has been the scene for multiple Michael Shank Racing podium appearances going back to 2004, with several top five finishes through the years as well.
Brown and Blundell opened the GRAND-AM season at the 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and finished an impressive fourth place along with co-drivers Martin Brundle and Mark Patterson. Blundell then returned to Michael Shank Racing for the following race at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he joined Michael Valiente and scored a sixth place result.
The No. 23 machine has been in contention for a podium and has led laps in each of the three races entered so far this year. Additionally, each time Michael Shank Racing has fielded two entries this year, the field has been paced by both cars – most recently at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when both the No. 23 and No. 60 shared laps at the front of the field.
The team will look to capitalize on the continually impressive pace that Pew has showed in the No. 60 before handing the controls to Negri. With a sprint race distance of two hours, speed and strategy will both factor into the results. Fresh from a productive recent test with Michael Shank Racing in the Ford-Riley, Brown and Blundell will once again look to be quickly up to speed in the No. 23 Ford-Riley in their return to Rolex action.
“I’m excited to be back to a two-car effort again this weekend at the Glen and with the way this weekend is set up, it’s going to be key for us to be fast straight off the trailer,” said team owner Mike Shank. “Having Zak and Mark back with is is a huge boost for us, and we saw at Laguna how well both cars worked together on data to find the best possible race day set-up we could get. We had a good, productive test with all four of our drivers and we just want to build on that momentum this weekend.”