Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian kicked off the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign over the weekend at the annual ‘Roar Before the 24’ test days held at Daytona International Speedway. The Ohio-based team completed seven on track sessions with drivers John Pew, Ozz Negri, AJ Allmendinger and Olivier Pla all posting competitive lap times at the 3.56-mile roval circuit.
The team was well-prepared heading into the Daytona test following a day of testing at Palm Beach International Raceway earlier in the week. And that preparedness showed, with the car delivering good pace and driveability as the team tested a range of set ups on the No. 60 Honda powered Ligier JS P2.
The test marked Pla’s first opportunity to run with the team. He was immediately fast in the car and acclimated quickly to the Michael Shank Racing group.
“The test was very, very good,” said Team Owner Mike Shank, whose team scored the pole for last year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and won the 2012 edition of the event. “This is the most prepared we’ve been coming into any Roar in the years we’ve been doing this. So that part is good. The drivers are exceptional. I’m really excited about our driver line up. The car is behaving and we’re still figuring out where we want to be exactly with downforce and things like that for the race. I couldn’t be more pleased with Olivier (Pla). He’s just a real asset to our team and he fit in just like Justin (Wilson) did. We’re capable of having a good result, we just have to make it happen.”
It was a big weekend off of the track for Michael Shank Racing with multiple media appearances and the team announcing that it will compete in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans with Pew, Negri and Laurens Vanthoor in collaboration with Onroak and Honda.
Michael Shank Racing will have more information including a commercial partnership announcement for the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the coming weeks.
The 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona will take place on January 30, 2016.
Michael Shank Racing Roar Before the 24 Driver Quotes:
JOHN PEW: “It’s gone really well. We’re learning some things about the car and making some good changes. We have a good racecar lap time wise and we were also able to work on some race pace stuff. I’m very happy with the Honda-Ligier chassis. Olivier Pla fits right in. He’s very fast and has a lot of information and good feedback. He’s going to be a great teammate, I’m looking forward to it.”
OZZ NEGRI: “It’s been really good. We have a very good car. We worked very hard for it. I can’t say enough about my engineer Dale Wise and how good of a job he does. He is such an important part of the team. I called him at 11PM last night and he answered and we talked about the car. Sometimes I have things on my mind and I don’t want to lose the details and I know if I sleep, the details will go away. The guy is just phenomenal. The work that we’ve been doing shows in every session. I hope we are doing the right thing. I hope it’s enough. We don’t know what the other people have but we’ve been trying hard. Phenomenal work by HPD. We’ve been working well. We’re all working to get another Rolex.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER: “The test has been really good. The car has a lot of speed in it. We were able to get a lot of our questions answered which puts us in a good position for the 24. So when we come back, we’ll just put the car on the race track and start working on qualifying and the race. We know the car is fast and the driver line up is really solid. Olivier (Pla) has really helped to develop this racecar with Ligier. His speed is incredible, he’s really fast. He’s been a lot of fun to have around. Overall he’s been a great addition to the line-up. I think he’s really going to help us understand the car especially over the course of 24 hours. Daytona is a place that gets temperature and rubber sensitive so he’ll help us really understand what direction we need to go throughout the course of the race.”
OLIVIER PLA: “The test went very well. This was the first time for me with the team here. I knew Ozz (Negri) before but everything else was new. You could see from the beginning that the Michael Shank Racing team has a great atmosphere and a great team spirit. That is very important. Everyone works together and everyone is working to extract the best form everyone on the team. It’s been great. We continued to work on the balance of the car and kept improving every session. It’s been really good.”
Source. Sunday Group
No comments yet.