Michael Shank Racing finds even more speed at Daytona (Daytona Beach, FL) 6 January 06-- The ...
Michael Shank Racing finds even more speed at Daytona
(Daytona Beach, FL) 6 January 06-- The #60 Michael Shank Racing Flight Options Lexus Riley of Mark Patterson, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, and Justin Wilson continued to find more speed in the Lexus-Riley combination on Friday, setting a best lap time of 1:44.543-seconds on Friday. The time was over two seconds faster than the team had set on Thursday and slated the team eighth on the charts for the day with one more day of testing remaining on Saturday.
The key to a winning effort at Daytona is likely to hinge on getting the most out of every aspect of the operation-the car, the team, and the drivers, in pursuit of the top step of the Rolex podium.
As the team prepares for the mammoth challenge, it hasn't only been the car that has been improving, either, as each driver has been working to find the most speed out of the Flight Options machine as well as themselves. South African racer Mark Patterson, who scored a podium in just his third Rolex start with Negri last season, was able to set some personal bests at Daytona on Friday and is hoping he can play a key role in a strong effort.
"That was simply the best session I have ever driven in this car," said Patterson. "This team is absolutely unbelievable, and they are giving me exactly the car I need to my best, which is getting better every time. I can't say enough about what kind of a job everyone is doing and hopefully we can keep this progress up."
The RuSport Champ Car teammate duo of Wilson and Allmendinger also got several laps under their belt as they work to find the fast way around the oval-based road course, and have been happy with the way things have gone thus far in the test.
"Things have gone very smoothly, and I think everyone is working well together," said Wilson. "We tried some different things with the car and working on our race set-up, but we still were able to set some good times, so it is pretty encouraging so far."
Team owner Mike Shank was enthusiastic about the progress that his team has made during the test, and is looking forward to finding even more in preparation for Michael Shank Racing's third Rolex 24 At Daytona event.
"This test has already proven to be very productive for us, and these cars are really fast in the hands of our drivers," said Shank. "We still have Saturday to get some more laps in for our guys and to keep trying things with the car to get ready for some of the different conditions we'll see in the race, but everyone is doing a great job, and we feel like we are exactly where we want to be so far.