Watkins Glen III: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing ready for dual Glen attack (Reynoldsburg, OH) 20 September 05-- Michael Shank Racing will once again be making a two-car attack in Rolex Sports Car Series competition this weekend, traveling to Watkins Glen for the series'...

Michael Shank Racing ready for dual Glen attack

(Reynoldsburg, OH) 20 September 05-- Michael Shank Racing will once again be making a two-car attack in Rolex Sports Car Series competition this weekend, traveling to Watkins Glen for the series' third visit to the track this season for Saturday's Crown Royal 250 at the Glen. The race will be held on the 3.4-mile 'long course' at Watkins Glen.

Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears, Jr. will share the same Mears Motor Coach Pontiac-Riley they raced to the podium with in California, and the Flight Options Lexus-Riley will be driven by Mark Patterson and Laguna Seca polesitter Oswaldo Negri.

After leading nearly thirty laps in the last race at Phoenix, the Mears Motor Coach machine made a hard-fought run to fifth place, the sixth top-ten result for the team so far this season.

Michael Shank Racing has qualified fifth and eighth in the series' two previous visits to Watkins Glen this season, and Borkowski held the track record for the Daytona Prototypes on the short course for two years. The Glen is also high on the favorite list for Mears, as he feels the layout suits his driving style well.

"This track is great because you carry a lot of speed into the corners and it requires a lot of commitment from the driver to be fast there," said Mears. "I like racing at the Glen because I tend to be quicker in the faster corners rather than the small dinky technical ones, so this track is great for me. Mike (Borkowski) is really fast here as well, so hopefully we can get another good finish."

The last time the team made a two-car entry, at the team's home track Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, both cars were quick throughout the weekend, but both also suffered from bad luck during the race, something that team owner Mike Shank is hoping to avoid this weekend.

"I think Mid-Ohio showed how fast our cars and our drivers are-both cars were in the top five in almost every session leading up to the race," said Shank. "We are going to have to just keep our noses clean at the Glen and hopefully get some good luck this weekend because we know we have a good shot at getting both these cars into the top five, and maybe even better."

The Flight Options car of Negri and Patterson, which elected to skip the Phoenix race, will be driven by two drivers with extensive experience on the track as Patterson has raced the long course in Skip Barber, Grand American Cup and Rolex Sports Car Series competition before, and earned the first pole of his career on the track. Negri's last visit to the track saw him on the podium, taking second place with co-driver Burt Frisselle last year with Michael Shank Racing in Daytona Prototype competition.

"The Glen is a fantastic proper road course, and I am really excited about working with Mark (Patterson) and Mike Shank this weekend," enthused Negri. "It was great to be running up front in Phoenix, and even though it was a shame the way the race worked out, I think this whole team is very confident for this weekend. I am just excited to be back in a very competitive car and working with this great team, it's like a dream come true for me."

Thursday will see the cars take to the track for practice, with qualifying slated to get underway at 4:40 PM ET on Friday. The Rolex Series will race on Saturday (3:00 PM ET LIVE on Speed Channel), with the Indy Racing League slated to race on Sunday.

Michael Shank Racing was formed in 1989 when Michael Shank first began driving racing cars professionally, taking the award as SCCA-Ohio Valley Region's Novice Driver of the Year. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 after moving up the motorsports ladder to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, with several race wins leading Shank to be named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. MSR has campaigned drivers including Johnny Rutherford Jr., Kenny Wilden, and 2001 and 2002 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr. MSR joined the Rolex ranks in 2004, leading the first race it entered and making two podium appearances with drivers Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri, Jr.

Canadian based Investment Banking and Securities firm Graydon Elliott Capital specializes in a wide range of financial advisory services and products. The rapidly expanding company will be utilizing its connection with the Michael Shank Racing team to continue its expansion into the US. Visit www.graydonelliott.com for more information.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Flight Options, LLC is the world's second largest provider of private jet travel solutions by providing a breadth of programs and the depth of one of the largest fleets. The company offers the complete spectrum of programs from fractional ownership to leasing to JetPASS membership and has received the prestigious ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating twice. The Flight Options fleet of more than 200 aircraft includes the world's largest fleets of Beechjet 400A's and Legacy Executive aircraft. Flight Options' fleet consists of the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, Hawker 800XP, Citation X and Legacy.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Skip Barber , Mike Borkowski , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis
Teams Michael Shank Racing