INDIANAPOLIS – Michael Shank Racing will open the Brickyard Grand Prix from the second row on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the team will look to kiss the Speedway’s historic bricks with sponsor Curb Records as the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series stages Round 8 of the 2013 championship at the iconic venue.
“The track was warm and greasy and that was what we were expecting,” said Yacaman, who started on the pole at Indianapolis last year while racing in Firestone Indy Lights. “Being so far back in line in pit lane kind of hurt us because we got into some traffic. Being one of the fastest cars out there we were hurt by slower traffic and weren't able to get a good lap in.
I was really looking forward to repeating the pole from last year, it would have been a nice story to tell. But we are sitting third and it's our best qualifying effort of the year so I'm pretty content with it. I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow, AJ (Allmendinger) is really quick and I think we have a shot at winning this thing."
The race weekend marks a return to Rolex Series action for Allmendinger, who was immediately right on the pace as he led the day’s second practice ahead of qualifying.
The sister No. 60 Curb Records Ford-Riley of John Pew and Ozz Negri will start the three-hour race from the rear of the field after an uncharacteristic spin during qualifying saw Pew stranded in the gravel trap on the opening lap of the session. Thanks to some quick reactions, Pew managed to keep the car off the wall and avoid any damage to the Daytona Prototype, but per GRAND-AM rules, the car remained off course until the end of the session and he was unable to return to the track to run a flying lap.
“It was unfortunate because I think we had a good car for qualifying, we just didn’t get a chance to show it,” lamented Pew. “My brakes locked up so I got off the brakes, and I tried to steer it backwards and not into the wall so then I ended up in the gravel. It’s disappointing, but there was no damage to the car and I think we still have a good car for tomorrow. It’s a long race so hopefully we’ll be up there fighting at the front by the end.”
Both cars had showed strong pace throughout the day with the No. 6 Tuvacol/Curb Records/AERO Daytona Prototype setting the second quickest time in the first practice and then topping the time charts in the second session. The No. 60 Curb Records machine completed the second practice with the fourth quickest time.
“It's a three-hour race and we are going to keep everyone's head in this and make the No. 60 a little bit better,” said team owner Mike Shank. “I am just tickled to death about Gustavo’s performance today. It was his best qualifying effort of the year by far, and I think part of that was the addition of AJ and what he brings to the table. But Gus's approach all weekend has just been great and hopefully he can keep it up in the race."
The Brickyard Grand Prix held at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a highlight event on the Rolex Series schedule and Michael Shank Racing is hoping that the team’s preparation for Friday’s race sees the group kissing the Speedway’s famous bricks after the checkered flag.
Michael Shank Racing