Michael Shank Racing names new drivers for Rolex competition Reynoldsburg, OH (February 4)--Michael Shank Racing (MSR), fresh off its strong finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend, announced that it has signed two drivers for the next ...
Michael Shank Racing names new drivers for Rolex competition
Reynoldsburg, OH (February 4)--Michael Shank Racing (MSR), fresh off its strong finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend, announced that it has signed two drivers for the next three events in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Burt Frisselle of Kihei, Hawaii, and Oswaldo Negri, of Miami, Florida will share driving duties in the #6 Lexus-powered Doran JE4 beginning with the Grand Prix of Miami, a 250-mile sprint event which will take place on February 28 as part of the Toyota Indy 300 weekend.
Award-winning team owner Michael Shank is looking forward to the upcoming races to show that his teams strong finish in the Daytona event, where MSR made a late-race charge to finish fourth in class, was just the beginning to a strong first season in Rolex competition.
"My priority was to find two guys that are used to the sprint type format where every lap is driven as hard as possible," said Shank. "The way that the rules are set up, the competition is so close that you have to bring the best package to every race, and we feel that these guys will help us do just that. For example, even though the race at Mont-Tremblant in May is a six hour event, we are still going to have to be running flat out every lap, and these guys can deliver in those conditions."
The pairing is a strong combination of talent and experience, as Negri has logged hundreds of miles in the Daytona Prototype class doing development work last season, including scoring 4th in the category in the 2003 Rolex event . Negri was the Pan-American Indy Lights Champion in 1998 and has also raced in the American Le Mans Series, driving for JMB Racing, an official Ferrari team.
Frisselle spent the 2003 season contesting his rookie campaign in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, where he showed impressive speed against a deeply talented field after winning a Barber-Champ Car Scholarship to compete. Frisselle had a strong season, scoring second in the rookie standings and sixth in the overall championship standings.
In addition to his racing activities, Negri has also worked with the Barber Dodge Pro Series for the past five seasons as the development test driver and driver coach, so the two drivers already have a positive working relationship. The driver pairing will get their first taste of the in an upcoming test in advance of the Miami race 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.