Michael Shank Racing off to a quick start at VIR (Alton, VA) 6 October 05-- Michael Shank Racing got off to a quick start to the VIR 400 weekend during Thursday's promoter test day with the Mears Motor Coach Pontiac-Riley of Mike Borkowski and...
Michael Shank Racing off to a quick start at VIR
(Alton, VA) 6 October 05-- Michael Shank Racing got off to a quick start to the VIR 400 weekend during Thursday's promoter test day with the Mears Motor Coach Pontiac-Riley of Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears and the Flight Options Lexus-Riley of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri posting impressive times in preparation for Sunday's sprint event.
The 3.27-mile natural terrain road course would seem to provide enough room for everybody, but the test day showed otherwise, as the combined GT and Daytona Prototypes crowded the long circuit.
"The car is great, but there is so much traffic that I only got one clean lap during the last session," said Patterson. "I think that it's going to be a big factor this weekend, but we are making solid progress with the car and will just keep improving for the race."
Running a two-car entry for the fourth time this season is providing the team with a wider range of data as the ultimate set-up is pursued.
"It's a good start to the weekend for us to get started with the pace that we had today," said team owner Mike Shank. "The guys did a good job in the cars and we made some progress through the day without any problems, so we have a lot of information to go through tonight to keep getting faster because everyone is going to improve, and to even be in the ballpark for a top-five, we are going to have to as well."
Mears, who drove one of the best races of his career in the last round at Watkins Glen, was also feeling the advantages of a two-car program as the team tested a variety of set-ups.
"It's great because it's like getting a two-for-one deal between the two cars," said Mears. "We can work in one direction with the 6 car and find out if it works, and the 60 car can try things in the other direction, and we are able to get a lot more information a lot faster and improve the car constantly, so that's what today was all about."
The team will continue to practice on Friday, with qualifying scheduled for Saturday in advance of Sunday's race.
Congratulations to Nathan Siebens and his wife Carlye and the birth of the newest Rolex racing fan, Landon Charles Siebens.