Michael Shank Racing tests at Virginia International Raceway Daytona 24 podium drivers gets first taste of Daytona Prototype Columbus, OH (20 July 04)--Michael Shank Racing tested recently at Virginia International Raceway with Formula Renault...
Michael Shank Racing tests at Virginia International Raceway
Daytona 24 podium drivers gets first taste of Daytona Prototype
Columbus, OH (20 July 04)--Michael Shank Racing tested recently at Virginia International Raceway with Formula Renault racer Mark Wilkins, his father Greg, and Robert Julien getting their first taste of the fantastic Daytona Prototype category on the picturesque natural terrain road course near Alton, Virginia. The test was very productive for MSR, as all three drivers have both speed and experience in Grand American competition. Julien was on the SGS class-winning team at the Rolex 24, and the Wilkins father-son duo took third in SGS as well.
Mark Wilkins, who has been atop the Formula Renault standings for much of the season to date, was impressed with the Lexus-powered Doran in his first run in the car.
"The car has so much straight-line speed, its unbelievable!" said Wilkins. "The brakes were really amazing, and the car had a lot of impressive elements like the no-lift shift with the sequential transmission. It was over 90 degrees outside, with nearly 100 percent humidity, so it was probably as hot as I have ever been in a race car, but it was still a blast!"
The test was also a chance for MSR, which currently sits fourth in the Rolex Sports Car team championship, to improve their car for the next event as the team fights its way through their first season of Rolex competition.
"All three of the guys did a really good job in the car," said award-winning team owner Mike Shank. "The feedback they had was excellent, and we were able to work through our development program and test out some new pieces for the car, so it was a tremendously useful test day, and hopefully we can score a strong finish at Mid Ohio as a result."
For both Wilkins drivers and Julien, the test was an opportunity for the drivers to get a first-hand feel for the Daytona Prototype category, which has seen explosive growth this season, and is expected to continue to expand moving forward as they evaluate their options for the 2005 season.
"For now, it was just to get an idea of what the car was like," Wilkins said. "If we could get the sponsorship together, it would be great to go in this direction."
The EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic on the weekend of August 6-8 marks the return of Michael Shank Racing to the legendary track for the Columbus-based team.