Michael Shank Racing announces Driver Lineup for Rolex 24 at Daytona.
REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (December 30, 2003) -- Michael Shank Racing (MSR) announced that it has finalized its driver lineup for the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series' season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, to be run January 29 - February 1 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Piloting MSR's No. 6 Toyota-powered Doran JE-4 Daytona Prototype in North America's premier sports car racing event will be Americans Brent Martini, Cort Wagner and Kelly Collins (substitute driver), Great Britain's Mike Newton and Brazil's Thomas Erdos. Sponsoring the efforts of Martini, Wagner and Collins will be Rx.com, with Dedicated Micros, NetVu and TransVu providing support for Newton and Erdos.
Martini and Wagner teamed together to win the 2003 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series' GT class championship, while Collins has driven factory backed Corvettes in the American LeMans Series (ALMS) for the past several seasons. Newton and Erdos competed in the FIA GT Championship as teammates in 2003 driving a Saleen S7R. Erdos captured the British GT championship in 2002.
"I feel extremely lucky to have the lineup we do for our team's first run in the Rolex 24," stated MSR owner Michael Shank. "All these guys have a huge amount of experience driving high-horsepower GT machines and we expect them to be competitive right out of the box. Kenny Wilden, who drove for us in the Toyota Atlantic Series and has won in the Trans-Am Series, will shake down our new Toyota Doran JE-4 at Daytona, January 3-5, so when we roll it out of the transporter for the race at the end of the month we're confident it will be ready to go flat out."
MSR announced on Dec. 1, that it will compete in all 12 events on the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series schedule. Parties interested in driving for the team following the Rolex 24 At Daytona should contact Mike Shank at (740) 964-9998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Shank Racing competed full-time in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship between 1996 and 2002. During that time it posted 38 top-five finishes, which included four wins by drivers Kenny Wilden (2), Sam Hornish Jr. (1), and Martin Basso (1). MSR's Atlantic record also includes five pole positions and a second-place finish in the 1999 Atlantic Championship standings. Hornish, the 2001 and 2002 Indy Racing League driving champion, captured the Atlantic Rookie of the Year Award while driving for MSR in 1999. Team owner Michael Shank was named Atlantic Team Owner of the Year in 1999 and 2002.
Tickets to the Rolex 24 At Daytona are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 386-253-RACE. Additional information on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Rolex 24 At Daytona is available at www.grandamerican.com.