Michael Shank Racing goes all-Lexus for 2006 (Columbus, OH)- 29 November 05-- Michael Shank Racing confirmed today that it will field two Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes for the 2006 Rolex Sports Car season. The team, which scored two podium ...
Michael Shank Racing goes all-Lexus for 2006
(Columbus, OH)- 29 November 05-- Michael Shank Racing confirmed today that it will field two Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes for the 2006 Rolex Sports Car season. The team, which scored two podium finishes utilizing a Pontiac power plant in the Mears Motor Coach machine of Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears Jr. in 2005, will become an all-Lexus squad in 2006.
Michael Shank Racing has an extensive history of success with Toyota Racing Development in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, where the team scored multiple wins with drivers Sam Hornish Jr. and Kenny Wilden, who finished second in the 1999 championship. The team made its debut Rolex Series campaign in 2004 with Lexus power, scoring two podiums with drivers Oswaldo Negri and Burt Frisselle.
"We have a great working relationship with Lexus and TRD going back to Atlantics, and are looking forward to working with them again next year," said Shank. "We want to thank Pontiac and the guys at CRD Engines for a good 2005 season and we know we will be fighting against them next year, but we are looking forward to it."
Michael Shank Racing announced at the Rolex season finale in Mexico City that drivers Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson have signed on to race with the team for the next two seasons, and will continue to utilize the Lexus-Riley combination that has seen the duo score a pole and a podium despite only running a selected schedule of events in 2005.
"Mike Shank and his team are some of the hardest working guys in the sport, and the Lexus guys are right there with them as far as passion, preparation, and desire to win," said Patterson. "They are quick to respond to our input throughout the weekends, and everybody is pretty excited about working with them again next year."
The team will announce plans for the second Daytona Prototype and the 2006 season at the Daytona Test Days January 4-7.
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.