Michael Shank Racing ready for Mexico City debut (Columbus, OH)- 2 November 05-- Michael Shank Racing is ready to go for the final round of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit this weekend in Mexico...
Michael Shank Racing ready for Mexico City debut
(Columbus, OH)- 2 November 05-- Michael Shank Racing is ready to go for the final round of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit this weekend in Mexico City. The team will compete with a two-car Daytona Prototype entry for the fifth time this season.
Oswaldo Negri will team with Mark Patterson in the Flight Options Lexus/Riley, and Mike Borkowski will be piloting the Mears Motor Coach Pontiac/Riley, with Canadian Kenny Wilden standing in for Paul Mears Jr.
Wilden and Borkowski were a powerful combination the last time they raced together, taking a podium finish earlier this season at Barber Motorsports Park, one of three podium results so far in 2005 for Michael Shank Racing. Borkowski is looking forward to the race weekend and expects another Rolex fight to the finish.
"I have never raced on this track, but that's going to be true for most of the guys and we should be able to get sorted right away," said Borkowski. "I really think this event is going to be another feather in Rolex's cap because our races are so incredibly competitive and we put on a really good show, so I know that we are going to attract a lot of new fans to the series this weekend."
The race weekend will also see the sister #60 Flight Options car of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri in action. The two combined to take tenth in class in the last round at Virginia International Raceway, and are looking to return to the podium once again after the two broke out to take a strong third place finish in just their third Rolex race together at Watkins Glen.
"Going to a new track in a new market is always exciting," said Patterson, who has raced nearly everywhere from Shanghai to Sebring. "It will take a few laps to get comfortable with the new track but I think we should be on pace quickly. I know Oz has a lot of fans down there so hopefully we will be getting a warm reception, and hopefully we give them something to cheer about on Saturday."
Negri raced extensively in Mexico on his way up the racing ladder, and will be focused on the task at hand this weekend despite the fact that he has a lot of friends and fans from his time south of the border who will be in attendance this weekend.
While the race is the first visit for the Rolex Series to the Mexico City market, Michael Shank Racing has experience racing south of the border, taking an impressive second-place finish in Monterrey, Mexico with stand-out driver Ryan Dalziel in Toyota Atlantic competition in 2002.
"Everybody is really excited about this race weekend," said Shank. "Of course it takes a little bit of extra work to prepare for an international event like this, but we feel like we are ready and should be strong. Things are coming together well for the team and we'd like to finish this season with both cars doing well in Mexico as we begin to prepare for 2006."
The race will be broadcast live on Speed Channel beginning at 4:00 PM ET on Saturday, November 5th. Timing and scoring as well as live audio will be available at grandamerican.com.
Michael Shank Racing was formed in 1989 when Michael Shank first began driving racing cars professionally, taking the award as SCCA-Ohio Valley Region's Novice Driver of the Year. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 after moving up the motorsports ladder to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, with several race wins leading Shank to be named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. MSR has campaigned drivers including Johnny Rutherford Jr., Kenny Wilden, and 2001 and 2002 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr. MSR joined the Rolex ranks in 2004, leading the first race it entered and making two podium appearances with drivers Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri, Jr.