Michael Shank Racing gears up for VIR (30 September 04)--The fan favorite number 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Doran will return to action this weekend for round ten of the 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series in the VIR 400 presented by SunTrust at ...
Michael Shank Racing gears up for VIR
(30 September 04)--The fan favorite number 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Doran will return to action this weekend for round ten of the 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series in the VIR 400 presented by SunTrust at Virginia International Raceway near Alton, Virginia. The Michael Shank Racing squad is coming off a strong fifth place finish in the last round at Homestead earlier this month, and is looking to move up from fourth position in the team championship battle with drivers Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri, Jr.
The Homestead result netted the team's sixth top-six finish of the season thus far, with the small team just thirty-four points from the championship-leading Ganassi squad, with thirty-five points going to the race winner. The team is hoping that the series' return to a natural road course, with VIR's fast corners and long straights will play into their hands.
"It's an absolutely awesome track, with a little bit of everything," said driver Burt Frisselle. "It's really nice to race at a natural terrain track like VIR, and to give our Lexus engine a chance to stretch its legs a bit! I think the car should be well suited to the track-the car is so well engineered by Dale Wise and the guys, that hopefully we can get another good result."
Award-winning team owner Mike Shank, who has seen his team rebound from a disappointing finish at the teams home race at Mid-Ohio to score a season-high second place finish at Watkins Glen and go on to score the Homestead top-five, is also hoping that the Lexus-Doran combination will be well suited to the track.
"We have got a good bit of momentum coming from the Glen and then Homestead, so hopefully we can keep that going this weekend at VIR and work our way up in the championship," said Shank. "This team keeps improving, every race, and Burt and Oz continue to impress in the car, so we'll just keep at it and look for a good finish this weekend."
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 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.