Michael Shank Racing Daytona-bound for Testing
(Columbus, OH) 8 December 2009- Michael Shank Racing finished the 2009 Rolex Sports Car season on a strong note as Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson made yet another podium appearance together with their strong run to third place in the season-finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, securing Patterson the Jim Trueman Award for the second time in his career. After over a month away from the track, the team will return to action this week as the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season gets underway with a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway.
Michael Shank Racing has entered two Daytona Prototypes for the test, and will retain the same Ford-Riley combination that has seen both team entries be a regular threat atop the timing sheets ever since scoring a debut pole position with the package for the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona with Negri setting a new track record. While the plans for the 2010 season continue to develop for the team, there will be a lot of familiar faces on hand for the test.
John Pew and Negri, along with NASCAR driver and returning Michael Shank Racing pilot AJ Allmendinger are entered in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley, with Patterson sharing the driving duties in the No. 6 with Michael Valiante and Ricky Taylor. The test is the first opportunity for the team to become familiar with the 2010-specification Pirelli tire.
“We have a pretty extensive plan laid out for this test and hopefully we can get a head start on the Test Days and the 24 with a couple of productive days down in Daytona,” said team owner Mike Shank ahead of the test. “We are kind of mixing things up with our drivers for the test, and hopefully it will help us get the most out of the track time we have this week. We had great communication this year between all of our drivers and with our engineering staff, so we want to keep pushing to learn as much as we can about these new Pirellis and be as prepared as possible for the 24 and even looking further down the road to when we are back down there in July.”