Michael Shank Racing finishes a battered eighth at the Glen Watkins Glen, NY (20 June 04)--Michael Shank Racing (MSR) finished a hard-fought eighth in the Sahlen's 6 Hours at the Glen for round five of the Rolex Sports Car Championship after ...
Michael Shank Racing finishes a battered eighth at the Glen
Watkins Glen, NY (20 June 04)--Michael Shank Racing (MSR) finished a hard-fought eighth in the Sahlen's 6 Hours at the Glen for round five of the Rolex Sports Car Championship after contact from another car once again hampered the teams efforts for a return visit to the podium.
The team, which is still working on developing the budget to continue racing and make a return to the track when the series races at the Glen again in August, knows it has all the ingredients for success, but just needs to get the luck to go their way sometime soon.
"The guys did another fantastic job today, but we were just too banged up the second part of the race to be fast in the end," Mike Shank said. "We know that we can get some results with these drivers and with the Lexus-Doran, but we just have to get through a race without anyone hitting us!"
Oswaldo Negri started the race from fifth position and shot up to third on the first lap as the six hour enduro got underway. Negri was involved in a number of battles for position, and ran as high as second position before handing the driving duties over to Burt Frisselle,
"It was awesome out there, racing wheel to wheel with Jan (Magnussen) like that," said Negri. "We were well matched-both in Lexus/Dorans, so it was like being back in Formula 3 again, with me overtaking him on one section of the track before he would get me back the next time around, and we would go back and forth lap after lap. It was a blast."
Negri was quick to praise the crew for keeping the car on track, despite the all the damage to the car.
"The guys did a fantastic job, keeping this car alive when it was so banged up--I got hit on the side as well after Burt got hit-so the fact this car was still doing fast laps at the end is a testament to the effort and preparation that Michael Shank Racing puts into the car. We had a top five car for sure, however, someone hit Burt (Frisselle) in the back and that was the story."
Frisselle put in two strong stints, and ran consistently quick laps despite feeling a bit under the weather before the event. Frisselle was at the wheel when he was hit from behind as he made his way through the section of the track known as the boot.
"I don't know what exactly the guy was thinking-I was already down at the apex and I just felt this "bang" from the rear corner, and the next thing I know, I'm going backwards."
Frisslle was unhurt in the accident, and returned to battle the final stages of the race, as the team fought to regain positions lost from the contact.
"It's a disappointing result-eighth is certainly not what we were looking for when we came out here, but on the other hand, it was encouraging how competitive we were and that we were able to stay on the lead lap until I got hit, and that's crucial in these kind of events," Frisselle said. "I learned a lot today-the guys we are racing against are some of the best drivers anywhere, so even though the result wasn't what we were looking for, there is a lot of good to come out of this weekend, and are really looking forward to racing again at Daytona!"
Based in Columbus, Ohio, MSR 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.