Sahley to drive for Shank Racing

For more information: Linda Mansfield: C2 Atlantic Rivals Team Up for '97 Racing Season CLEVELAND, OHIO ( Jan. 13) - Cleveland-based driver Ted Sahley has teamed up with his...

For more information: Linda Mansfield:

C2 Atlantic Rivals Team Up for '97 Racing Season

CLEVELAND, OHIO ( Jan. 13) - Cleveland-based driver Ted Sahley has teamed up with his arch rival from 1996 for the 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship.

Although he ran only a six-race schedule in 1996, Sahley was still one of the main competitors of Mike Shank throughout the 12-race season in the Atlantic series' C2 division, a class for older cars. Shank, of Columbus, Ohio, won the C2 title while Sahley finished fourth for the year.

For 1997, Sahley will team with Shank's company, Michael Shank Racing Services, to run the entire 12-race schedule in a Ralt RT-41. Instead of competing against Sahley, Shank will prepare Sahley's car and serve as the team manager for Sahley's Atlantic effort.

Dale Wise, formerly of the Truesports Indy car effort, will be the Atlantic team's engineer. Lee Yarsky, who was crew chief for Robert Sollenskog in the Atlantic series last year, will be the crew chief.

Sahley's chassis is scheduled to arrive by the end of the month. After being fitted with a Hasselgren-prepared Toyota engine, the team will test the car in Sebring, Fla., in February prior to the series' season opener March 1 in Homestead, Fla.

Whether of not Sahley will have a teammate is undetermined. Michael Shank Racing Services has one more seat available for the 1997 Atlantic season, and is open to proposals from other drivers to join the 24-year-old Sahley on the circuit.

Sahley's master plan calls for two more years in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, which is North America's premier training series for future Indy car stars.

Sahley's best overall race finish last year was eighth place in round seven at Trois-Rivieres, Que.

"I know first-hand that Ted is a tough competitor. He proved that when I raced against him last year in the C2 division," Shank said. "We all have high hopes for the new season, and we can hardly wait to get our new car and begin testing."

The KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship offers over $1.25 million in prize and bonus money. Jacques Villeneuve, Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Parker Johnstone, Richie Hearn, and Patrick Carpentier are past Atlantic competitors, to name a few.

The series' 12 races are televised on ESPN2 in the United States; CTV and RDS in Canada; ESPN International; and the SBT network in Brazil. An average of over 20 million viewers tune to each of the 12 one-hour broadcasts plus a one-hour season-in-review feature each year.

Prior to becoming an Atlantic driver, Sahley ran amateur SCCA Formula Continental cars, finishing fifth in the Valvoline Run-Offs in 1995. He also raced in over 30 Skip Barber Formula Ford races from 1993 through 1995. He started his racing career in 1992 through the Skip Barber Racing School in Sebring, Fla.

Sahley is a 1996 graduate of the University of Florida. He majored in business administration and advertising. In addition to his career in professional motorsports, he works in the hotel business.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Richie Hearn , Danny Sullivan , Skip Barber , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing