Michael Shank Racing expands to two-car effort

(Columbus, OH)- 20 July 05-- Michael Shank Racing announced today that the team will expand to a two-car effort for four races during the second half of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series season, with drivers Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson...

(Columbus, OH)- 20 July 05-- Michael Shank Racing announced today that the team will expand to a two-car effort for four races during the second half of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series season, with drivers Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson rejoining MSR after making a successful debut with the team at Laguna Seca.

The Columbus, Ohio-based team will become a two-car effort starting with their home race in the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio in August, and will also race in the Watkins Glen 250 in September before racing in the final two Rolex events of the season at Virginia International Raceway and in Mexico City.

Michael Shank Racing will be adding staff to run the program in tandem with the full-season effort Mears Motor Coach Pontiac-Riley of Paul Mears Jr. and Mike Borkowski as the team continues to grow.

"This is really very exciting for us," said Shank. "Since first getting started racing in Rolex, we have been working hard to grow our program to be able to support a two-car effort, and these races with Oswaldo and Mark are an important part of that process. I'm really pleased that we have taken this path and that it has created opportunity like this for the team. Mark and Oswaldo did a great job for us at Laguna Seca and, and we hope that this is the first step towards a full-time two car effort in 2006."

Negri and Patterson, who combined to take a record-setting pole position at Laguna Seca before going on to finish on the lead lap in ninth position in a trial Daytona Prototype entry with Michael Shank Racing in May, will be utilizing a Riley-Lexus package.

Negri, who raced to two podium finishes with Michael Shank Racing last season, is excited about the opportunity to race once again with the team that helped him establish himself as one of the quickest and most aggressive drivers in the Rolex ranks.

"I just love working with these guys," smiled Negri. "They showed last season how much dedication they have and how good they are at preparing the car. I have been to some of the Rolex events this season, and these guys always blow me away with how well they have their act together as a team. So driving for Mike again with Mark (Patterson) is just an absolutely fantastic opportunity and I can't wait to get back to racing and show what we can do."

Patterson, who has been racing in the Star Mazda series this season, was impressed with what he saw from the Michael Shank Racing organization during the Laguna weekend, and is looking forward to continuing to build the relationship this season.

"Michael Shank Racing is professional, dedicated, hard working team with a proven record of success at putting cars on the track with top-five prospects repetitively," said Patterson. "Oswaldo has been working with me in the Star Mazda Series, and when we started talking about exploring the Daytona Prototype possibilities, there was no question for him about who we should talk to-Oz has some high standards, and he respects these guys and their winning attitude, and that was more than good enough for me."

Patterson isn't just looking forward to working with the team, as the Daytona Prototype effort is an extension of his racing relationship with Negri, who serves as a coach for him in the Star Mazda series.

"Oswaldo is fanatically committed to extracting set up perfection at every test day, every practice session, each qualifying run, and each and every race," said Patterson. "With his patience, knowledge, and dedicated work ethic, he is an ideal driving partner for me, and of course it doesn't hurt that he's shown how lightning-quick he is in these cars. His style is quiet and marginally self-deprecating, but don't be fooled, Oswaldo's need to win is matched by few I've met before in any sport, and I couldn't be happier to be his teammate."

The team will race next in the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant with the Mears Motor Coach machine at Barber Motorsports Park.

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.

Canadian based Investment Banking and Securities firm Graydon Elliott Capital specializes in a wide range of financial advisory services and products. The rapidly expanding company will be utilizing its connection with the Michael Shank Racing team to continue its expansion into the US. Visit www.graydonelliott.com for more information.

Michael Shank Racing benefits from the support of team partners including the Mears Transportation Group (www.mearstransportation.com) and Graydon Elliot Capital (www.graydonelliott.com)

-msr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Mike Borkowski , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis
Teams Michael Shank Racing