Michael Shank Racing completes successful test. SAVANNAH, Georgia, Feb. 22--Michael Shank Racing (MSR) is looking forward to next weekends Grand Prix of Miami after completing two days of testing this week at Roebling Road in Savannah, Georgia,...
Michael Shank Racing completes successful test.
SAVANNAH, Georgia, Feb. 22--Michael Shank Racing (MSR) is looking forward to next weekends Grand Prix of Miami after completing two days of testing this week at Roebling Road in Savannah, Georgia, with drivers Burt Frisselle of Kihei, Hawaii, and Oswaldo Negri, of Miami, Florida, taking their first laps in the MSR #6 Lexus-powered Doran JE4.
The test was the first run for Frisselle in a Daytona Prototype machine, and the young racer came away from the test impressed with the category. Frisselle, who ran a strong rookie campaign in the Barber Dodge Pro Series last season in addition to a select schedule in the American Le Mans Series, has been staying sharp in the off season with a busy regimen of karting competition in anticipation of his debut in the Rolex Sports Car Series next weekend.
"The car was a blast to drive!" said Frisselle. "It took some time to get used to all the horsepower, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I was really very impressed with the team, how well prepared the car was, and how much we were able to improve during the test. Now I am just looking forward to getting back in the car next weekend at Homestead and going racing!"
Negri, who himself has been busy in his role as a development driver for Formula BMW, has extensive experience in the Daytona Prototype category and was also impressed with the results the team was able to generate in the test.
"This test couldn't have gone any better," enthused Negri. "We were able to make some significant gains in the car, and it was also a great opportunity for Burt and I to get to know the crew. The TRD guys did a fantastic job giving us best of what the Lexus engine has to offer. Finishing the two days of testing on such a strong note was encouraging for the team as we all now look forward to our first race together at Homestead."
Team owner Michael Shank is looking forward to next weekends race, which will feature a 250-mile sprint format, which requires a much different approach than last months Rolex 24 at Daytona, which saw the MSR entry score a strong fourth in the Daytona Prototype class in the teams first-ever start in Rolex competition.
"It went very well for us," said Shank. "We were able to work through every element of our testing program we'd hoped to, and Burt and Oswaldo both did very well in the car and they were able to provide some great feedback for (MSR lead engineer) Dale Wise, and that helped us make some significant gains. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the potential that this car has, and we are looking forward to this weekend since we know we have the opportunity to be competitive."
The MSR crew will now head to Miami to the Homestead Miami Speedway in advance of the Grand Prix of Miami, which will take place on February 28 as part of the Toyota Indy 300 weekend.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, MSR 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. MSR is making the transition to the Rolex Series from open-wheel competition for the 2004 season in the Rolex Sports Car Series, campaigning a Lexus-powered Doran JE4.