Daytona 24: Michael Shank Racing first qualifying report

Michael Shank Racing takes 12th on the Rolex 24 grid Daytona, Florida (3 February 05)- The Mears Motor Coach-liveried Michael Shank Racing Pontiac/Riley will start the 43rd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona from twelfth on the grid of over sixty cars...

Michael Shank Racing takes 12th on the Rolex 24 grid

Daytona, Florida (3 February 05)- The Mears Motor Coach-liveried Michael Shank Racing Pontiac/Riley will start the 43rd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona from twelfth on the grid of over sixty cars after scoring a fast lap time of 1:48.261 seconds in qualifying on the 3.65-mile road course at Daytona International Raceway.

During the fifteen-minute session, a black flag period for a stranded car put paid to driver Mike Borkowski's best lap, as he had to quit the lap and return to the pits. Rejoining the track after the green flag flew again, Borkowski found himself behind a gaggle of other Daytona Prototypes, and was unable to significantly improve his time.

"Well, that's not what we were hoping for, but it's a long, long race, so while we were looking to be closer to the front for the start, its not too big a deal," said team owner Mike Shank. "I guess that's the flip side of having all these Daytona Prototypes out there--it's a lot of traffic even without the GT's! We have a solid plan for the race, and know that there is a lot of racing ahead of us, so we're just going to keep with our game plan and see how it unfolds."

Borkowski will be joined for the endurance classic by full-season team partner Paul Mears Jr., as well as Duncan Dayton and Larry Connor. Borkowski was frustrated by the qualifying session, but the 2003 Daytona Prototype Championship runner-up has a lot of experience at Daytona, and knows that the race is a long one, and that when it comes to the race, what matters is where the car is come Sunday morning.

"It was frustrating how the session played out, but the Michael Shank Racing guys have done a great job with the car, and I know we are going to be strong when it matters come race time," said Borkowski. "We just didn't play it right with traffic, but hopefully the race will get off to a clean start, and we can move forward once we get a good pace going."

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. Qualifying for the event will take place on Thursday, February 3rd at 3:45 pm, with the race slated to start at noon on Saturday, February 5th.

Speed Channel will carry live coverage of the race beginning on Saturday at noon until 11pm, and will resume at 8 am on Sunday.

-msr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Larry Connor , Mike Borkowski , Paul Mears Jr. , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing