Pew, Negri hope Ford power is the hot ticket.
On a track that rewards both momentum and courage, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will look to continue to build on recent IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship outings as the series makes its debut visit to Road America this weekend (FOX Sports1 broadcast, 6:30 PM Sunday) with the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
Michael Shank Racing drivers John Pew and Ozz Negri will share the driving duties in the No. 60 Ford EcoBoost/Riley machine for the two-hour, forty-five minute sprint race on Sunday that marks Round 9 of the 2014 IMSA championship. In three Prototype race starts together at the 4-mile track, the duo have combined for three top-five results including a third-place finish in 2012.
The team has continued to make progress with the Ford EcoBoost/Riley combination as the first-year program integrates significant portions of the production motor into race applications. After setting an outright FIA-sanctioned high speed record at Daytona International Speedway with the package last year, the team first raced the combination in January as the TUDOR Championship broke ground with the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
A front row start at Long Beach for the squad came ahead of a string of solid race results in the last four races, but the team is looking to return to podium form.
“We are still working to find the sweet spot with this package but we keep chipping away at it,” said team owner Mike Shank. “This is a very important program to us and to Ford and it is amazing how much data we pull out of every race weekend. All that information makes us better each time out. But we are not where we want to be at all and hopefully we can move closer to our goals this weekend. Road America is a monster of a track. The drivers love it, the fans are just awesome and super knowledgeable, and it is a race weekend that everyone looks forward to.”
'Every driver loves' Road America
“It is just one of those tracks that every driver loves going to,” said Pew, who has raced at Road America in both formula cars and Daytona Prototype competition. “We’ve been able to come home with some top-fives in the last few races, but we are all working to keep moving up. This series is so competitive and everyone is pushing constantly so it is a constant challenge but it is also one that is really satisfying when things go your way.”
“I love Road America,” said the notoriously quick-handed Negri. “It’s just so fast and has a little bit of everything. It really gives the drivers the chance to have a big influence and is a very fun place to race. We’ve been pushing with the EcoBoost and everyone wants to improve, each time out so hopefully we can make a lot of progress this weekend.”
The team kicked off the event week by staging a day of two-seater rides in the Continental Tire Daytona Prototype as the team partner continues to activate its dealer and customer base via IMSA, providing an unforgettable experience for their guests.