Michael Shank Racing heads South to Alabama (Columbus, OH)- July 27-- Michael Shank Racing is ready to kick off the second half of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car season this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama as the team continues to ...
Michael Shank Racing heads South to Alabama
(Columbus, OH)- July 27-- Michael Shank Racing is ready to kick off the second half of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car season this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama as the team continues to grow.
The team, which recently announced that it will be fielding a second entry with drivers Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri for four races during the second half of the season, is feeling confident after completing a highly-successful test recently at the 2.3-mile Barber facility with the Mears Motor Coach Pontiac-Riley combination.
The team debuted at the track last season after working a full week of all-nighters to repair the MSR machine after a dramatic crash the weekend before. That experience showed the resilience and absolute dedication of the Michael Shank Racing organization, and that ethic has helped fuel the growth of the team under former race driver Mike Shank.
"This is an exciting time for the team," said award-winning team owner Shank. "We have come a long way since this race last season, and we are really excited about the future with the new shop, some new equipment, and of course the chance to run to cars again later this season. We learned so much during the test at Barber that we feel as though we are as ready for this race as we have ever been."
2003 Rolex Sports Car Series Championship runner-up Mike Borkowski will team with Canadian Kenny Wilden for the race weekend, a combination that scored the team a fifth place finish at Laguna Seca earlier this season.
"The test we had here was a great opportunity for us to really get to work on our set-ups for this track just before racing there, and the car was just great by the time we left," said Borkowki. "Rolex racing is so incredibly competitive, though, so of course we'll have to keep improving during the weekend just to keep up, but we feel like we have a great starting point and should be competitive."
The team will get the chance to test during Thursday's promoter test day in advance of Saturday's qualifying, with the race getting underway at noon EST 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.