For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com Shank to Race Porsche 911 GTS-3 Car for Datastorm at Road Atlanta April 19-20 COLUMBIA, Mo., April 9 - Mike Shank of Columbus, Ohio, the defending SCCA Player's/Toyota ...
For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com
Shank to Race Porsche 911 GTS-3 Car for Datastorm at Road Atlanta April 19-20
COLUMBIA, Mo., April 9 - Mike Shank of Columbus, Ohio, the defending SCCA Player's/Toyota Atlantic C2 national champion, and Datastorm Racing owner Bruce Barkelew of Columbia, Mo., will co-drive a Porsche 911 Grand Touring Sports-3 (GTS-3) car in the two-hour Sportscar Exxon Supreme Championship race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., April 19-20.
The team's main sponsor is SuperClubs Resorts in Jamaica. The bright yellow Porsche will sport Goodyear tires.
Barkelew is most famous as a Trans-Am team owner. He chose Shank for this opportunity due to his excellent reputation as a driver, even though he'll actually meet the 28-year-old champion for the first time at Road Atlanta.
Another reason that Shank is appealing to Barkelew is because he has extensive experience on Road Atlanta's twisting 2.52-mile, 12-turn road course performing tests for Swift and other customers through his business, Michael Shank Racing Services.
Scott Schanke, whom Shank has worked with extensively in the Sports 2000 ranks, is the team's crew chief.
"It's a new challenge for me, and I'm looking forward to it," Shank said. "It is great that Bruce has agreed to give drivers like myself this opportunity, and I really appreciate it."
Shank added that there are "strong possibilities for me to run more races in the future" with the Datastorm Racing team.
"I should be in pretty good shape by the end of the test session on Thursday, April 17, because I have a lot of confidence in Scott Schanke, our crew chief," he said. He added that Datastorm also will race a Weaver-built Trans-Am car in selected events this year.
Shank is also in the process of finalizing plans to run a limited Indy Racing League (IRL) program in 1997, with a full program planned for 1998. Details on this effort will be announced soon.