(2 October 04)--Oswaldo Negri drove the number 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Doran to third on the forty-car grid for Sunday's VIR 400 with a fast lap time of 1:46.701 seconds, despite not getting a clean run in traffic at Virginia International ...
(2 October 04)--Oswaldo Negri drove the number 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Doran to third on the forty-car grid for Sunday's VIR 400 with a fast lap time of 1:46.701 seconds, despite not getting a clean run in traffic at Virginia International Raceway today. Negri once again was able to step it up in qualifying, netting the team's fastest lap of the weekend so far. The MSR squad will line up on the second row behind championship protagonists Max Papis on pole in another Lexus-powered machine and Wayne Taylor.
The race weekend is the first time drivers Negri and Burt Frisselle have run a Daytona Prototype at the track, and the team has fared well given that most of the other teams tested at VIR just last month.
"This is a good demonstration of how strong this team is-we didn't test here, so we have been playing some catch up this weekend, but obviously the Michael Shank Racing guys have done a great job to get us to third in qualifying," said Oswaldo Negri. "I was hoping we could have made a front row start-I think our car was strong enough to do that--but I just didn't get the breaks in traffic during the session that I needed, but we are looking forward to the race tomorrow."
Team owner Mike Shank was pleased with how much progress the team has made during the weekend so far, but he also knows that Sunday's race will be extremely competitive.
"Our top speed is pretty good around here, and we have made a ton of progress so far this weekend, so while I know Os was a bit frustrated with the traffic, we have to be pretty happy with the result," said Shank. "There are a lot of strong cars around us, so we will have to see how things develop during the race."
Frisselle, who will take the controls of the MSR Lexus-Doran during the first pit stop of the race, has also been in action this weekend, and has enjoyed running on the twisty natural terrain circuit.
"This is an intense experience-running through these fast corners, just trying to manage the weight of the car through the transitions is a constant challenge, but driving this thing at these speeds is an absolute blast!" said Frisselle. "Like Os mentioned, we have really come along during the weekend, so hopefully we can put in a competitive run tomorrow and keep up the good momentum we have in the second part of this season."