VIR: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing taking podium momentum to Virginia (Reynoldsburg, OH) 5 October 05--After scoring a third podium finish of the season in the last round, Michael Shank Racing heads south this weekend for the VIR 400 and round thirteen of...

Michael Shank Racing taking podium momentum to Virginia

(Reynoldsburg, OH) 5 October 05--After scoring a third podium finish of the season in the last round, Michael Shank Racing heads south this weekend for the VIR 400 and round thirteen of the Rolex Sports Car Series. The team will be bringing a two-car assault to the 3.27-mile natural terrain road course in Alton, Virginia.

After starting from fourteenth on the grid, Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson charged forward to score a third place result in the last race to mark their first podium appearance in just three starts, and the two are hoping to once again impress with their Flight Options Lexus-Riley combination.

The Mears Motor Coach machine of Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears Jr. also had a strong run at Watkins Glen, with Mears driving one of the best stints of his career before turning the car over to Borkowski, who was stifled in his efforts to move back to the front by the long yellow flag periods but still fought through to bring the car home in seventh and take the teams eighth top-ten of the season.

The VIR 400 marks the fourth time Michael Shank Racing has entered two cars in Rolex Sports Car competition, and with the pace that both cars have been showing, team owner Mike Shank is looking forward to this weekend to show once again the strength and depth of the Ohio-based squad.

"The cars are better every time we go out, and we were really impressed by the job all of our drivers did at Watkins Glen," said Shank. "We qualified third here last year so we know we have a good handle on this track, but the series has become so incredibly competitive that to even get a shot at a top-five, you really have to be doing your homework and avoid any kind of problem during the race. It was great to be on the podium again, and just fires us up to do it again."

2003 Daytona Prototype Championship runner-up Borkowski feels as though VIR owes him one, after his teammate was crashed out of the lead of the race in 2003, but the experience didn't dampen his enthusiasm for the track one bit.

"I love the track," said Borkwoski. "As a driver, it is a great place to run, and we should be competitive there. I'm anxious to get a win under our belt because we feel like we should have won Phoenix, and we know we have the package and the speed to be competitive no matter where we run. This was an unbelievable race last year, and the Rolex races are some of the best racing anywhere with so many guys right there for the lead, and fights happening for pretty much every position, so its going to be an exciting race for the fans no question."

Michael Shank Racing 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 joined the Rolex ranks in 2004, leading the first race it entered and making two podium appearances with drivers Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri, Jr.

Canadian based Investment Banking and Securities firm Graydon Elliott Capital specializes in a wide range of financial advisory services and products. The rapidly expanding company will be utilizing its connection with the Michael Shank Racing team to continue its expansion into the US. Visit for more information.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Flight Options, LLC is the world's second largest provider of private jet travel solutions by providing a breadth of programs and the depth of one of the largest fleets. The company offers the complete spectrum of programs from fractional ownership to leasing to JetPASS membership and has received the prestigious ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating twice. The Flight Options fleet of more than 200 aircraft includes the world's largest fleets of Beechjet 400A's and Legacy Executive aircraft. Flight Options' fleet consists of the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, Hawker 800XP, Citation X and Legacy.


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Mike Borkowski , Paul Mears Jr. , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Michael Shank , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis
Teams Michael Shank Racing