Michael Shank Racing set for Homestead showdown (Homestead, FL) 23 March 2007--Michael Shank Racing's Mark Patterson will start from thirteenth on the grid for Saturday's Linder Industrials Grand Prix at Homestead Miami Speedway after posting ...
Michael Shank Racing set for Homestead showdown
(Homestead, FL) 23 March 2007--Michael Shank Racing's Mark Patterson will start from thirteenth on the grid for Saturday's Linder Industrials Grand Prix at Homestead Miami Speedway after posting a 1:16.289-second lap in qualifying with the NetApp/TSP sponsored Lexus/Riley. Patterson, who out-qualified former Rolex Sports Car Champion Wayne Taylor in the 2006 Homestead event, went two better this year during the fifteen minute qualifying session in Friday afternoon's heat to slot into the sixth row.
"Some of this pavement is just treacherous on the tires and it takes a lot of faith sometimes to stay at full throttle in the banking," said Patterson. "It was a challenge to get the power down in some spots even when the tires were brand new, and it only got worse as the session wore on. But these are the conditions we will be racing in tomorrow, so at least we know what well be up against."
The sister Michael Shank Racing Lexus/Riley of Henri Zogaib and Ian James will start from the ninth row after Zogaib put his best lap of the weekend down during the qualifying session.
Zogaib is quickly working his way up the learning curve this weekend as he takes on the Homestead track for the first time in a Daytona Prototype, and won some nodding approval from co-driver James, lead engineer Dale Wise, and Mike Shank as they watched his progress play out on the data telemetry during the qualifying session.
"It was a little frustrating that there just wasn't the same grip available this afternoon as there was this morning, so I couldn't get the power down like I wanted to" said Zogaib. "But I am feeling more confident every session, and after going through the banking flat out this morning, I had no problem doing it during the qualifying, so we are making progress every time out."
"We are pretty pleased with how this weekend has gone so far," said Shank. "I think the big thing is going to be staying out of trouble early-and with both Henri and Mark starting from the inside lane, hopefully that will be no problem. If we can catch a break with a yellow at the right time, we should be looking good."