Bill Lester tests with Michael Shank Racing (Daytona, FL) 6 November 06--NASCAR Craftsman truck driver Bill Lester tested with Michael Shank Racing on Monday at Daytona International Speedway, driving the No. 60 Flight Options ...
Bill Lester tests with Michael Shank Racing
(Daytona, FL) 6 November 06--NASCAR Craftsman truck driver Bill Lester tested with Michael Shank Racing on Monday at Daytona International Speedway, driving the No. 60 Flight Options Lexus-powered Riley. The laps at Daytona were not the first for Lester, who has four Rolex 24 At Daytona starts on his racing resume.
"Grand-Am has such a good formula," said Lester. "I like the fact that teams don't have to necessarily outspend everyone to win, and this Mike Shank Racing team has shown that. My roots are in road racing and this race has been on my mind for quite some time now. I just hope they'll be pleased with my performance enough to ask me back for the race. This is such a prestigious a race and as a driver, you just want to win this one because it's big."
Brazilian Oswaldo Negri Jr., who scored his first-career Rolex Series win co-driving with Mark Patterson in the 2006 Rolex Series finale at Miller Motorsports Park, was impressed with Lester's adaptation to the car.
"It was amazing how quickly he got up to speed," said Negri, who turned the fastest lap of the morning session. "In my time in the series, I've seen many drivers climb into these cars and take a long time getting used to the feel. Bill got into a rhythm pretty quickly."
Negri paces morning test-
Despite only running a handful of laps, Negri posted the fastest time in the morning practice session with a 1.44.491-second lap of the 3.65-mile infield road course at Daytona International Speedway. Negri's co-driver Patterson was also impressive as he set times that were well clear of his personal best at the track.
New faces in the No. 6 entry
Henri Zogaib and Ian James took their first laps in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Riley on Monday, working to get a feel for how the Daytona Prototypes react to set up changes and getting up to speed in preparation for January's big event. Zogaib and James co-drove in the 2006 Rolex event, but their race ended early with a mechanical problem.
"They did a really good job today, and we made a lot of progress on the things we wanted to try out, so it was a great first day for Henri and Ian," said team owner Mike Shank. "This is also a good chance for us to see what the drivers like with the cars and just work on our communication and chemistry for the race. I'm really encouraged by what I've seen out of everybody and hopefully tomorrow is just as productive."