Team follows up third-place result at Laguna Seca with second in Detroit
Honda-powered Michael Shank Racing continued its improving form in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Saturday in Detroit, Michigan, following up a third-place earlier this month in Monterey, California, with a second-place result Saturday on the Belle Isle Park temporary street circuit.
Setup changes made after practice and qualifying on Friday saw starting driver John Pew battling with the Ford prototype of multi-time series champion Scott Pruett through the first 30 minutes of the 100-minute timed event, then handing over the wheel to co-driver Ozz Negri during the event’s single scheduled pit stop.
Negri moved up to fourth after a mid-race caution period, then gained additional positions in the final 40 minutes as intermittent showers resulted in a treacherous racing surface and mistakes from other competitors. In the final laps, Negri moved up to second for Michael Shank Racing’s best result of 2015.
The Ligier chassis fielded by MSR is powered by a production-based 2.8-liter Honda HR28TT V6 engine, developed for competition by HPD from the Honda “J35” series of passenger vehicle V6 engines, with improvements including twin turbochargers. Key production-based components include the block and cylinder heads, direct-injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors and fasteners. The engine even features a stock Honda oil filter.
The 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship now takes a one-month break for teams taking part in the World Endurance Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans, and resumes June 28 with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York.
Ozz Negri (#60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda): “It was very tricky out there, but I love those kinds of conditions. You have to be creative and just get the best out of it. When it’s really hot and everything, like it was today, my Brazilian blood kicks in! I’m just so happy to be back on the podium!”
Michael Shank (team owner): “It really shows how no one on the team ever gives up. We were a little bit lost [on the setup] at the start of the weekend, but kept making the car better and better. Two podiums in a row is just fantastic. I’m so proud of everyone. Ozz [Negri], John [Pew], all the guys, I just don’t know what to say. I would have been happy to finish fourth today, so to get second is great!”