Conner and Dayton join Michael Shank Racing for Rolex 24 Experienced racers will share Pontiac-Riley with full-season pilots Mears and Borkowski Daytona, Florida (7 January 05)--Team owner Mike Shank announced today that Larry Connor and Duncan...
Conner and Dayton join Michael Shank Racing for Rolex 24
Experienced racers will share Pontiac-Riley with full-season pilots Mears and Borkowski
Daytona, Florida (7 January 05)--Team owner Mike Shank announced today that Larry Connor and Duncan Dayton will join regular drivers Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears, Jr. in the Mears Motor Coach-liveried Pontiac-Riley for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The driver line up should be a strong one, providing the combination of speed and experience needed to finish well in the twice-around-the-clock classic.
Michael Shank Racing took fourth in the Daytona Prototype class in the teams debut Grand American event in 2004, and is looking to start the 2005 season with a strong run in the Rolex 24. The team has switched to Pontiac power, and will be utilizing the championship-winning Riley chassis for the 2005 season.
"This is a driver line up that I am very excited about," said Shank. "This is going to be one of the most competitive 24 hour races ever, and with our drivers and the new Riley-Pontiac combination, we feel like we are well prepared for the event. Duncan and Larry are great additions to the team, so we are really looking forward to the race."
Connor and Dayton have extensive experience in road racing, and raced together at Le Mans. The two also partnered to take a win in the Petite Le Mans in 2003. Connor has a wide range of experience in the sport, from racing recent Formula 1 cars to Atlantics and has twice been crowned as an SCCA National Champion.
Dayton also has experience in nearly every kind of racecar, and will be entering his sixth Rolex 24. The 2005 event will be his first since mechanical problems took his team out of a seven-lap lead in 2002. Dayton has some experience with the DP class, having made his first start in a Daytona Prototype in 2003, qualifying fourth for the season-ending race at Daytona International Raceway.
The 14-race Rolex Sports Car Series season will get underway with the 43rd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on February 5-6.
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.