TORRANCE, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2003) - Toyota and Michael Shank Racing (MSR) announced today that they have reached and agreement for Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. to supply the team with engines for the 2004 Daytona Prototype season in the...
TORRANCE, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2003) - Toyota and Michael Shank Racing (MSR) announced today that they have reached and agreement for Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. to supply the team with engines for the 2004 Daytona Prototype season in the team's inaugural Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series campaign, with the team set to debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
With the announcement, Michael Shank Racing joins Doran-Lista Racing and Cegwa Sport in utilizing Toyota power in 2004. The manufacturer returned to sports car competition last season with the debut of the Daytona Prototype class.
"We're thrilled to be partner with another proven team like Michael Shank Racing, a team that we've been associated with for a number of years through our relationship in the Toyota Atlantic Series," said Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. "Mike Shank has helped develop some top-flight young racing talent in the past few years, and we're confident that he'll continue to enjoy that type of success in Grand American Rolex Sports Car competition."
MSR was a Toyota Atlantic Championship competitor from 1995-2002 and campaigned such young drivers as IRL IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr., Champ Car competitor Rodolfo Lavin and championship contender Kenny Wilden. In 1999, Michael Shank was recognized as the Toyota Atlantic Championship "Owner of the Year," with Hornish winning the series' "Rookie of the Year" title that same season. Drivers for MSR's Grand American Rolex Sports Car program will be announced at a future date.
"After enjoying a nine-year relationship with Toyota and TRD in the Toyota Atlantic series, it was an easy decision to partner with Toyota in Grand Am. We really never considered anyone else," team owner Michael Shank said. "We believe that with the rules package that Grand Am has put together, it could elevate sports car racing to its greatest level ever in the U.S. We're thrilled to be a part of the series."
TRD, U.S.A. commenced its operation in 1979 as the North American technical arm for design, development and assembly of Toyota's racing engines. TRD produces powerplants for various series including the IRL IndyCar Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck, CORR off-road racing; Toyota Atlantic and the Grand American Rolex Sports Car series. TRD also distributes a premium quality line of high-performance aftermarket parts for Toyota products.