Negri and Patterson join Michael Shank Racing full-time (Mexico City, Mexico) 4 November 05-- Michael Shank Racing is pleased to announce the signing of Oswaldo Negri Jr. and Mark Patterson to a two-year program to compete in the Daytona ...
Negri and Patterson join Michael Shank Racing full-time
(Mexico City, Mexico) 4 November 05-- Michael Shank Racing is pleased to announce the signing of Oswaldo Negri Jr. and Mark Patterson to a two-year program to compete in the Daytona Prototype class of the Rolex Sports Car Series. Negri and Patterson have raced a partial schedule with the team in 2005, taking a record-setting pole in their debut at Laguna Seca and scoring a podium finish in just their third start together earlier this season at Watkins Glen.
"We are really excited about having Oswaldo and Mark join us full-time beginning next season," said team owner Mike Shank. "Even though they only ran a handful of races this season, they were impressive every weekend and I know that we will be a competitive force right out of the gates next year."
Patterson and Negri will continue to utilize the Lexus/Riley combination next season, and are looking forward to continuing with the highly competitive package.
"We really enjoy working with Lexus and the guys at TRD," said Patterson. "Their technical support is truly an asset to us every weekend, and both Mike and Oswaldo have great working relationships with them. Just like everyone on our team, they really want to win, and it shows in how much effort goes into this program."
Negri, who raced to two podium finishes with Michael Shank Racing in 2004, 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.
"Driving for Mike again with Mark (Patterson) is just an absolutely fantastic opportunity and I can't wait to show what we can do," said Negri. "I am also really happy to be racing with this team because we have a great relationship and I have never worked with a group of guys who are so well-prepared."
Patterson, who has also been working with Negri as his driver coach in the Star Mazda series, shares Negri's enthusiasm for the Columbus, Ohio-based team, and for their future together.
"Michael Shank Racing is without a doubt one of the best organizations competing in the Rolex Sports Car Series and I am excited about what we are capable of achieving," said Patterson. "Mike and his guys are meticulous when it comes to preparing the cars, and they didn't skip a beat when we added the second car this season. Oswaldo is an ideal driving partner for me because he brings so much knowledge, and of course speed, to the table. His desire to win is all-consuming."
Michael Shank Racing joined the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2004 and quickly flourished in the series, taking sixth in the team owner championship on the strength of nine top-ten finishes with their Doran/Lexus combination. The team continued its competitive ways in 2005 with three podium finishes and nine top-tens thus far, and is working to compete full-time with two entries in the category in 2006.
"It is my intention to be campaigning two Daytona Prototypes full-time next season," said Shank. "We are really happy to have one program all set with Mark and Oswaldo, and are still working on the final details for the second car. We are building a new shop in order to support our growth, and this is an important part of our continued expansion."