Mid-Ohio: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing Has Successful Dallara Shakedown Down Ahead of EMCO Gears Classic COLUMBUS, OH (16 June 2010)- After over a week straight of late nights, early mornings, and a lot of hard work, Michael Shank Racing completed a successful ...

Michael Shank Racing Has Successful Dallara Shakedown Down Ahead of EMCO Gears Classic

COLUMBUS, OH (16 June 2010)- After over a week straight of late nights, early mornings, and a lot of hard work, Michael Shank Racing completed a successful brief shakedown test of the No. 6 Dallara-Ford combination that the team will utilize this weekend for the EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Just hours after making the final preparations to the Dallara machine, which had sat idle for over a year before being drafted into duty following the dramatic fire in the teams original No. 6 Riley machine, the crew was back at the shop early on Wednesday morning to head west to Putnam Park outside of Indianapolis.

While the time sheets through the years have demonstrated the Columbus-based team's significant strength in the engineering department with the long-utilized Ford-powered Riley equipment, Michael Shank Racing will now face a new challenge as it works to learn as much as it can, as quickly as it can, about the Dallara chassis.

Michael Shank Racing had two goals for the test at Putnam Park.

The first was to confirm that everything was in working order on the car after so much effort had been made to tear down and then re-assemble the machine up to Michael Shank Racing spec, with the latest updates from Dallara also being integrated into the build. With everything from water pipes to oil lines to coolant lines and various fitments all requiring small tweaking to ensure proper installation, the effort was significant. But it was also shown to be successful as the car ran without pause through the test.

With the build of the car established, the team quickly moved to the second goal--finding out how to get the most speed out of the machine.

"The test went about as perfectly as we could have asked for," said team owner Mike Shank as he prepared to head back to Columbus. "We just did the shakedown to make sure we had all our systems checks sorted--everything from the gearbox to motor temps and brakes, everything was just fine. That all went exactly as we were hoping, and from there we just started to build a book on this car from an engineering standpoint. We changed shocks, springs, aero, ride hight, everything that there is to change, basically. For us to know what it likes, we have to just try everything we possibly can."

While some teams have years of experience with the Dallara, Michael Shank Racing will be starting anew on the process, and worked to make the most of the day as both Brian Frisselle and Michael Valiante were on hand to drive the blue No. 6 as the team continues the fight back from Watkins Glen.

"It's a huge challenge for our engineers," said Shank. "And we won't be able to lean on the other car anymore because it's not apples to apples. So we have a long way to go but this day was a huge help, just a gift for us in these circumstances to have it go so smoothly. Now, we'll head up to Mid-Ohio tomorrow morning, unload, and prepare everything so that we're ready to go first thing on Friday."

-source: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , Brian Frisselle , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing