DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 10, 2004) -- Michael Shank Racing emerged from a two-day test at Watkins Glen this week with a new sense of confidence as the team prepares for the upcoming rounds of the Rolex Sports Car Series. The Ohio-based team is now...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 10, 2004) -- Michael Shank Racing emerged from a two-day test at Watkins Glen this week with a new sense of confidence as the team prepares for the upcoming rounds of the Rolex Sports Car Series. The Ohio-based team is now preparing for a different kind of race track. The next two rounds, the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant and the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, are both on natural road courses, which will require a different approach than previous races.
The Michael Shank Racing No. 6 Lexus Doran has certainly proven to be competitive on the oval-based road courses, but team owner Michael Shank believes that the next two rounds will give the team their best chance yet.
"The Lexus Doran package is really strong on these longer tracks," Shank said. "The Lexus really likes to stretch its legs, and that's going to be important as we race through the summer. We focused a lot on our race simulation runs, and despite getting rained out for most of the first day, we accomplished a lot. Burt and Oswaldo both did a great job here, as neither had raced here before, so that was a big benefit of the test to get them some seat time at this track."
The next two races will not only be on different types of tracks, but they will also be a different format. The races at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway were both 250-mile sprint events, but the next two rounds will be six-hour endurance tests.
"We did get some fast lap times in on the day, but what was most important was that both drivers had no problem running consistently fast times from the beginning of their stint to the end, and that's really going to be what counts for these longer distances, having a car that can crank out solid laps times over the race distance," Shank said.
"The biggest thing for us was being able to be consistent and get the car set up so that we can count on running fast laps all the way through the fuel load as well as still be quick as the tires lose grip," Negri said. "I think we made a lot of progress on those things. We have been fast so far this season, but I think our overall consistency has been what has kept us from maybe finding a win, so we are really encouraged about the next few races."
The Michael Shank Racing No. 6 Lexus Doran returns to Rolex Series action for the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant, May 21-23. Tickets can be purchased by calling 800-517-5725.
For more information on the Rolex Sports Car Series, visit www.grandamerican.com. For more information on Michael Shank Racing, visit www.michaelshankracing.com.