(Columbus, OH) 3 June 08 - Michael Shank Racing returns to Rolex Sports Car Series competition this weekend with the two team Daytona Prototype entries looking for a new chapter of success at the famed Watkins Glen facility and the Sahlen's Six...
(Columbus, OH) 3 June 08 - Michael Shank Racing returns to Rolex Sports Car Series competition this weekend with the two team Daytona Prototype entries looking for a new chapter of success at the famed Watkins Glen facility and the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen on Saturday.
The team has good reason for optimism ahead of the Sahlen's Six Hour event, having regularly scored strong finishes at the upstate New York track and establishing a remarkable record of long-distance success including fourth in the 2007 Sahlen's Glen event as well as the team's triumph in the nine-hour Miller Motorsports Park event in 2006.
"Both our cars led this race last year, and we feel like with everything we've been working on with Ford Racing that we should be even stronger this weekend," said Mike Shank. "Ian and John brought home another top ten, but overall we were not happy with how things played out for us at Laguna Seca. So this weekend we'd like nothing more than to show some speed again and move up in the championship with both cars."
With the 10th place Rumbum.com result, John Pew and Ian James moved up one position to sixth in the team championship standings with the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley, and will look to go even better than the fourth place finish the duo took in the 2007 edition of the Sahlen's event.
"We had a really good run at the Glen last year and now with Ford power and me having a full year in these cars under my belt, hopefully we can go even better this weekend," said Pew, who shared the driving duties in the No. 6 as the Ford-Riley led late in the running at the Rolex 24. "The long endurance races require a lot of attention to detail from the team, and Mike Shank's guys always shine in these races. The cars are usually quick right from the start of the weekend, so hopefully we can get into a good race pace and be there at the end for a good finish."
A 16th place finish was a disappointing result after a promising start to the Laguna Seca weekend for the No. 60 Ford-Riley entry of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri, but the two have visited the podium together in Watkins Glen short course competition previously, and will look to add the 3.4 mile, 11-turn track layout to their podium resume on Saturday as the Rolex Series returns to the endurance format after four rounds of sprint events.
"Ozz and I have had some great races at the Glen, but the podium in the 6 hour has eluded us thus far and hopefully we can do something about that this weekend," said Patterson, who will look to regain ground in both the team and Jim Trueman award standings. "Even though we are running the long course, things can get crowded pretty quickly with this many GT cars entered. So being patient and staying out of trouble is absolutely crucial for us to get a good result and keep ourselves up in this championship fight."