Montreal: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Patterson steps up in Montreal qualifying (Montreal, Que) August 3 2007--Mark Patterson's brother Ward coached the Middlebury College rugby team to the Division 2 National Championship this year, and was on hand in Montreal to see his...

Patterson steps up in Montreal qualifying

(Montreal, Que) August 3 2007--Mark Patterson's brother Ward coached the Middlebury College rugby team to the Division 2 National Championship this year, and was on hand in Montreal to see his brother put in his own strong performance in qualifying on Friday. The two share more than just a last name, as competitive excellence seems to run in the family.

Patterson carded a fast lap time of 1:37.913-seconds on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to take tenth on the grid for Friday's Rolex Sports Car Series race in Montreal. The sister Playboy-liveried Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Riley of John Pew and Ian James will start from the seventh row for the 4:15 ET race start on Friday. The Rolex Series Montreal debut race will air on Speed Channel on a tape-delay basis starting at 8:00 PM ET.

The fifteen-minute qualifying session was interrupted by a black flag early on, leaving just six minutes remaining to set the field. Both Patterson and Pew have raced on the 2.71-mile circuit previously, and put that experience to work to quickly set a fast time.

Patterson was able to dig deep and score a top-ten starting position, but Pew was frustrated after a small bobble cost him big time on his final fastest flyer of a lap.

"It felt good-it's amazing how little we have changed on this car through the weekend," said Patterson. "We've just been fine tuning and looking for small improvements. It was great to finally get into a good rhythm out there even though we didn't get many laps in."

"Mark did an outstanding job--his best qualifying ever," said co-driver Oswaldo Negri. "We asked him for a few tenths and he got it. It was just a great job he did to improve by so much in such a short time this weekend. This kind of performance really motivates the whole team and I couldn't be happier for him."

Pew has made a habit of taking top tens since joining Michael Shank Racing, and while he was annoyed with the qualifying result, he knows that he and James have a good shot at another strong result on Friday night.

"I'm sorry for the team that it didn't go better but the car just got sideways in the first part of the corner," said Pew. "I caught it no problem, but then there's another change of direction right there so I had to get out of it big time and that cost me a lot. Unfortunately, that was the last lap I had and there was no chance of making that kind of time up. But the car is good and we can make that ground up during the race."

-credit: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ian James , Gilles Villeneuve , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing