MSR/Fusion Racing 2006 driver lineup announced

Borkowski, Wilden, and Mears join Fusion Racing with MSR for 2006 Canadian-American Combination to Take the Wheel (Daytona Beach, FL) 4 January 06-- Seeking to continue the pace and progress the team made in 2005, the ...

Borkowski, Wilden, and Mears join Fusion Racing with MSR for 2006
Canadian-American Combination to Take the Wheel

(Daytona Beach, FL) 4 January 06-- Seeking to continue the pace and progress the team made in 2005, the #6 Fusion Racing with Michael Shank Racing (MSR) Lexus-Riley will benefit from a Canadian-American line-up of drivers in 2006, as Toronto native Kenny Wilden will team with American Mike Borkowski for the entire fourteen-race schedule, with Paul Mears Jr. joining the effort for select events during the year.

Having scored two podium appearances in 2005 with the #6 entry, Fusion Racing with MSR made keeping their drivers for 2006 a priority, and is looking forward to the continuity that retaining them will offer.

"I'm really happy to have Mike (Borkowski) and Paul (Mears) back with us, and that Kenny (Wilden) was available to race with us all season," said Mike Shank. "We have been working hard to put everything in place for this year, and we should be consistently competitive all season. Paul has continued to make amazing strides in the car, and we are really looking forward to him being with us for part of the season as well."

Shank isn't the only one excited about the line up, as both sides of the new partnership between MSR and Fusion Racing are looking forward to a strong campaign in 2006.

"I am really excited about our driver line-up for the 2006 season and we will have another significant announcement tomorrow that will put us in an extremely competitive position for the 24," said Fusion Racing managing partner Dennis Bainbridge. "Mike Shank and his team do an excellent job preparing for these very difficult races, and Fusion Racing is very excited about our prospects for the year."

Canadian driver Kenny Wilden has a long and storied history with Michael Shank Racing, going back to his days in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, including a run to second in the 1999 championship battle. The Canadian has made quick work of adjusting to the rigors of Rolex racing, scoring a fifth place in his debut event with the team at Laguna Seca, and backing that up with a run to the podium at Barber Motorsports Park.

"I am so happy to have this opportunity with Michael Shank Racing," said Wilden. "This team is so strong, and we all know each other very well, so it should be a great environment. With Rolex becoming so incredibly competitive, hopefully our good chemistry will give us a bit of an advantage out there."

Borkowski joined the team in 2005, and scored two podium finishes during the season to bring his Rolex career total to twelve, as the American took third at California Speedway with Mears, and followed that up with another third place finish co-driving with Wilden at Barber Motorsports Park. Borkowkski won renown in a variety of road racing series with a string of championships on his way up to a breakthrough rookie campaign in the Trans-Am Series in 1997, and took runner-up in the 2003 Daytona Prototype championship battle, so he knows what he is talking about when he says that this lineup will give the team the chance to be a factor in the championship battle this season.

"The Rolex series has become so exciting, and this season is going to be even more competitive, so to have all the tools we need in place to be a consistent performer and a factor in the championship-great cars, drivers, sponsors, and a strong team, is very exciting for me as a driver and I am very excited about this season," said Borkowski. "Kenny and I work really well together, and I am glad that Paul (Mears) will also be with us again this season."

Mears, who first broke into the Daytona Prototype ranks in 2003, will be contesting a limited schedule starting with the 2006 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and will return to the cockpit to race at Virginia International Raceway, as well as on one of his favorite tracks for the 6 Hours of the Glen race in June, and again at Daytona for June's Brumos 250, as well as taking part in the Rolex Sports Car Series debut at the 4.3-mile Miller Motorsports Park facility in Utah, which will host the season-ending race of the 2006 season with a nine-hour run into the sunset on Labor Day weekend.

"Mike and his guys do a hell of a job every weekend, and I'm looking forward to working with them again this season," said Mears. "The Rolex Series has become amazingly competitive, and I love the challenge that it brings, so having a team like Mike's behind me, Mike, and Kenny is a huge plus for us."

The team will announce the full driver line-up for the 2006 Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as a new title sponsorship for the #6 car on January 5th at the Rolex Test Days at Daytona International Raceway.

Fusion Racing with MSR benefits from the support of team partners including Graydon Elliott Capital (www.graydonelliottt.com), and the Mears Transportation Group (www.mearstransportation.com).

Graydon Elliott, a Canadian based Investment Banking and Wealth Management group, specializes in a wide range of financial advisory services and products. The rapidly expanding company will be utilizing its connection with the Fusion Racing with MSR team to continue its expansion into the US. Visit www.graydonelliottt.com for more information.

Based in Orlando, Florida, Mears Transportation Group started in 1939 with three taxicabs, and with founder Paul Mears' dedication to outstanding service, has grown to comprise a fleet of 540 taxi cabs, 180 motor coaches, 100 shuttle vans, 12 limousines, and 185 luxury sedans, as well as including resort concierge services. Airport, attraction, cruise, charter, and taxi transportation are the core services that Mears strives to provide to the entire Florida market.

Fusion Racing is a Canadian company involved in many aspects of the motorsports industry such as providing sponsorship opportunities, organizing and hosting corporate hospitality events, racecar development and manufacturing and racing equipment distribution. The company's focus is providing and managing motorsports sponsorship opportunities for Canadian companies doing business in the United States.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Michael Shank Racing (MSR) was formed in 1989 when Michael Shank first began driving racing cars professionally. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the Champ Car Toyota Atlantic Championship. With several race wins under his belt, Shank was named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. MSR joined the Rolex ranks in 2004. MSR has four Rolex Sports Car Series podiums, with Mike Borkowski, Paul Mears Jr., Kenny Wilden, Oswaldo Negri, Mark Patterson, and Burt Frisselle as drivers.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mike Borkowski , Paul Mears Jr. , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Dennis Bainbridge , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing