Brian Frisselle Takes Fifth on Mid-Ohio Grid for Michael Shank Racing LEXINGTON, OH (18 June 2010)-Hundreds of man-hours and countless sacrifices later, Michael Shank Racing's relentless recovery from a devastating fire reached a new benchmark...
Brian Frisselle Takes Fifth on Mid-Ohio Grid for Michael Shank Racing
LEXINGTON, OH (18 June 2010)-Hundreds of man-hours and countless sacrifices later, Michael Shank Racing's relentless recovery from a devastating fire reached a new benchmark on Friday afternoon as Brian Frisselle qualified the No. 6 Ford-Dallara fifth for Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The effort marked the culmination of a tremendous amount of effort--with much still to come ahead--for the home team as the Columbus-based organization showed strength in its first day of running with the Dallara chassis mated to Ford power. Frisselle's fast lap time, set on his final flying lap of the 15-minute qualifying session, was just over .4-seconds off of the record-setting pole time.
"The guys have worked massive hours to even be ready to go here this morning, and it showed this afternoon," said Frisselle. "We didn't unload like we were hoping to, but we just kept working at it to make the car better. There is so much we need to learn still, but to do this in our first day running this car is really impressive from Michael Shank Racing. I want to thank Dallara and Ford for helping us get to this point and hopefully we can keep learning more tomorrow and bring home a good result."
The qualifying outing netted strong results for both Michael Shank Racing Daytona Prototype entries, as John Pew also kept sharpening his times late in the session to once again place the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley in the top ten with his quick time of 1:19.811-seconds slotting him into the fifth row.
"The Crown Royal car was good and just kept getting better through the session even though I think the track was getting pretty slick in this heat," said Pew. "It felt pretty greasy in the esses! But it was pretty manageable and I think if we can keep working on getting the power down, we'll be in very good shape. I know Ozz is going to like racing this car tomorrow, we've got a very good platform this weekend."
Despite the team's fondness for the 2.25-mile circuit north of Columbus, the track where the organization first coalesced has not historically been a kind one to the team in Rolex Sports Car Series competition. The qualifying result marked the second best grid spot in team history at the track, and brought some stout smiles to the Michael Shank Racing pits as the team has rallied to make the most of a challenging situation.
"Brian did an outstanding job today," said team owner Mike Shank of one of the hardest-fought fifth place qualifying efforts in recent history. "He got everything I think he could out of this car today. The team has worked so hard since the moment we got the car back from the fire. So to come out and be this close to the pole time in our very first day with the Dallara is outstanding. I'm very pleased with the progress we made today because after the first session, we just were not where we thought we'd be. But we got better and we're going to get better still--we have another warm-up tomorrow to keep trying new things and learning about this Dallara. I want to thank Luca Bergianti (Dallara engineer) for being here and supporting us this weekend. And with how strong the Crown Royal car is running and the great job John once again did in qualifying, I just can't describe the relief I feel right now."
Saturday will be another busy day for the team, with team owner Mike Shank conducting pit tours for some VIP guests from Ford Motor Company, drivers taking in drivers meetings as well as an autograph session, one final practice session, and then a pre-race grid walk ahead of the scheduled 5:00 PM ET green flag.