Atlantics Stars Try Out Rolex Series Racing with MSR Kodak Bell Motorsports Tests at Mid-Ohio DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 17, 2004) - 2002 Toyota Atlantic Champion Jon Fogarty, his Pacific Coast Motorsports teammate Alex Figge and former Atlantics...
Atlantics Stars Try Out Rolex Series Racing with MSR
Kodak Bell Motorsports Tests at Mid-Ohio
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 17, 2004) - 2002 Toyota Atlantic Champion Jon Fogarty, his Pacific Coast Motorsports teammate Alex Figge and former Atlantics runner Alex Gurney tested the Michael Shank Racing No. 6 Lexus Doran at Mid-Ohio last week to get a look at the burgeoning category. The three drivers took turns at the wheel through a full day of running at the 2.25-mile track and were able to provide MSR with feedback on the car while thoroughly enjoying their first taste of the Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype category.
MSR still has testing and race opportunities open after the Daytona weekend, and Shank is actively looking for interested drivers to test and race in the second half of the season. Shank was impressed with how quickly the three drivers were able to get up to speed as well as the quality of their feedback.
"All these guys come from where we come from, so we speak the same language as far as development and feedback, so it was a very productive day for us," Shank said. "Even though none of them had ever driven anything like this, they were on the pace immediately and were able to continue right where we left off at The Glen test last week with Burt (Frisselle) and Oswaldo (Negri) as far as finding new ways to get the most out of this car."
Fogarty, Figge and Gurney had been looking forward to getting a taste of the Daytona Prototype format, and all three walked away from the test smiling.
"I knew we were going to have fun today, but I have to say both the team and the car exceeded my expectations," Fogarty said. "I would have to think that these would be a blast to race in. Besides, Mid-Ohio is a fun race track, no matter what race car you are in."
"This is definitely a buff race car," Figge said. "It takes a different kind of commitment to be fast in this car than in an Atlantics, but it was really a blast. I had never driven a race car with a roof on it, so I had to get used to the heat inside, but there was also more elbow room in there than anything I've ever driven."
In just their first season of Rolex Series competition, MSR has emerged as a serious title contender, sitting just four points from the championship leader. MSR previously competed in the Toyota Atlantic series, but has adapted quickly to the endurance format of the Rolex Series with drivers Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri continuing to impress Shank as well as the rest of the paddock with their speed and consistency.
MSR was not the only team testing prior to this weekend's 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The Kodak Bell Motorsports No. 54 Pontiac Doran tested at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last Tuesday. Terry Borcheller will share driving duties with Forest Barber and Andy Pilgrim in the six-hour endurance race.
"The test went very well," Borcheller said. "We ultimately ended up going quite a bit faster than what we qualified at last year, so that was great."
Both teams and a full field of Rolex Series sports cars return to action in the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant, May 21-23. Tickets can be purchased by calling 800-517-5725. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel on Sunday, May 23 at 11 a.m. ET.