Lime Rock Park
Michael Shank Racing Targets Return to Lime Rock Park Podium
Lakeville, CT -- Having finished third at the track in 2010, Michael Shank Racing will look to score another podium finish at Lime Rock Park this Monday as GRAND-AM stages round five of the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship. Michael Shank Racing drivers John Pew and Ozz Negri both have a lot of history at the track, which is the shortest on the GRAND-AM schedule at just 1.5 miles.
Pew and Negri finished sixth in the most recent round after Pew’s strong qualifying effort saw him right in the thick of the fight in the rainy opening laps at VIR before turning the machine over to Negri, who fought through the constantly changing conditions to bring the No. 60 Crown Royal Ford-Riley home in sixth. The result was the second consecutive sixth place finish for the duo, who now enter the Memorial Day Classic event sixth in the championship standings.
“Lime Rock is a fast place, and I’ve had a lot of laps there in a lot of different cars, but the Daytona Prototype is the best way to get around that I’ve experienced! I’m really looking forward to getting back up to Connecticut and hopefully getting the chance to move up in the points,” said Pew, who was once again back in a kart recently to keep sharp and fit between events. “It is a nice change of pace to experience this kind of one-day event, and it makes every session that much more important for us to make as much progress as we can to have a fast car for the race.”
The one-day Lime Rock Park event features an intense schedule, with practice, qualifying and then 2.75-hour race all set to take place on Monday. The race also kicks off a back-to-back schedule of races as GRAND-AM will reconvene at Watkins Glen just days after the Lime Rock event for Saturday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
This track has such fast laps...
“For the team, it takes a lot of planning to be ready for a one-day event like this, but it’s something that we have a lot of experience with and we are absolutely ready go,” said team owner Mike Shank. “For us to make an impression on this championship, it’s absolutely crucial for us to come out of this two-race stretch with some solid points. We continue to learn more and more about what this Continental Tire likes to make the cars quick, and hopefully we can use those lessons to get back to that Lime Rock podium on Monday.”
“We’ve been busy and we got some testing in since VIR so I feel like we are ready to go--not just for Lime Rock--but also for the Glen and also looking forward to Road America,” said Negri. “This track has such fast laps--less than one minute--and that will keep the engineers that much more on their toes because it is really easy to go down a lap if your timing isn’t right with a pit stop. If the weather is constant, this will be our first real test with the new rules so we will see how that plays out. Our guys have been doing a lot of strategy planning and hopefully that pays off. We’d really like to get this Crown Royal car back where it should be, up on the podium, and hopefully that will happen on Monday.”