Montreal: Michael Shank Racing Thursday notes

Positive first day for Michael Shank Racing in Montreal (Montreal, Que) August 2 2007--Michael Shank Racing had a positive first day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneueve on Thursday as the Rolex Sports Car Series got up to speed on Montreal's ...

Positive first day for Michael Shank Racing in Montreal

(Montreal, Que) August 2 2007--Michael Shank Racing had a positive first day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneueve on Thursday as the Rolex Sports Car Series got up to speed on Montreal's 2.71-mile permanent, but not often used, road course. Friday's Rolex event will mark the first race since the Brumos 250 at Daytona to feature both the GT and Daytona Prototype classes.

Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri put their prior experience on the circuit to good use to score a fast lap time of 1:38.927-seconds in the morning session before shaving almost a full second off that time in the final afternoon session.

"It is great to have the GT cars back on the track with us again," remarked Patterson. "I think it's going to make the race much better. The transition from the formula car to the Daytona Prototype wasn't that severe for me. I can carry more speed into the corners than I expected to and am just working on flowing speed into and out of some of these back and forth corners."

The sister Lexus-Riley of John Pew and Ian James was also quick out of the gates, as Pew has raced on the circuit multiple times in formula car competition. He admitted that his transition to the Daytona Prototypes on the Montreal track didn't go exactly as he expected.

"There is a huge difference between the Mazda and the Prototype," said Pew. "It isn't a problem at all, but it just took a bit for me to get used to being in this car-it's much bigger of course than the formula car, and you have to drive it differently. But we are getting better and better and everything is coming together well so far today."

James was the only Michael Shank Racing pilot who counted today's laps at Gilles Villenueve as his first, and after having seen the venue on television for so many years, was modestly surprised once he took to the course.

"The track is very compact and narrow like nothing I've run on before," said James. "But of course it's the same for everyone. Brakes are going to be very important here and I think It is going to be very tricky with traffic, but so far, so good."

Team owner Mike Shank, who won a Toyota Atlantic race as a driver in Montreal on his way to the C2 Championship, was happy with the first day of running as his team looks to continue with the positive championship momentum.

"It's good to be back here in Montreal again," said Shank. "We had a solid first day and feel like we are right in the ballpark of where we need to be with these cars. Hopefully things will go our way in qualifying tomorrow morning and put us in a good position for the race."

-credit: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ian James , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing