RACE: Round 5 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: Ozz Negri, Jeff Segal
No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: Andy Lally, Katherine Legge
No. 86 Acura NSX GT3: 6th with 90 points (tied with the No. 75 GTD)
No. 93 Acura NSX GT3: 11th with 77 points
A LOOK AT MSR BELLE ISLE HISTORY: Having made five starts through the Streets of Belle Isle in Prototype competition, Michael Shank Racing’s best finish at the track is second. John Pew and Ozz Negri drove the team’s Honda Ligier to a runner-up result at Detroit in 2015.
FOND MEMORIES FOR KATHERINE LEGGE: Last year, Katherine Legge took her first-ever start with Michael Shank Racing through the streets of Belle Isle when she joined Ozz Negri behind the wheel of the team’s Honda Ligier Prototype. With part of the Michael Shank Racing team remaining in Le Mans, France for the Le Mans Test Day, Legge filled in for John Pew. It was also Legge’s debut through the streets of Belle Isle. She and Negri finished fifth in the event.
MSR STARTS AT BELLE ISLE:
2012: Started – 9th Finished – 5th (John Pew & Ozz Negri in a Ford Riley)
2013: Started – 10th Finished – 13th (John Pew & Michael Valiante in a Ford Riley)
2013: Started – 8th Finished – 7th (Gustavo Yacaman & Antonio Pizzonia in a Ford Riley)
2014: Started – 6th Finished – 4th (John Pew & Ozz Negri in a Ford Ecoboost Riley)
2015: Started – 6th Finished – 2nd (John Pew & Ozz Negri in a Honda Ligier)
2016: Started – 6th Finished – 5th (Ozz Negri & Katherine Legge in a Honda Ligier)
SWITCHING GEARS: Following the COTA event, half of the Michael Shank Racing team continued its work on the Acura NSX GT3 program at the team’s shop in Patskala, Ohio, while the other half was in Indianapolis prepping the No. 50 Honda Dallara for the team’s debut run in the Indianapolis 500. But when Indy 500 race week came, the entire team converged at the Speedway for a team effort. Following the race, the Michael Shank Racing transporter headed back to Ohio Sunday night where it was loaded for Detroit by Tuesday.
BELLE ISLE DRIVER HIGHLIGHTS:
Ozz Negri: With four starts at Detroit, Negri’s best finish came in 2015 with a runner-up result – teaming with John Pew in the Honda Ligier.
Andy Lally: Lally has made five starts at Belle Isle Park in the GTD class. His best finish at the track came in 2013 when he finished fourth in a Porsche for Magnus Racing.
Katherine Legge: Legge made her very first start in the Detroit race last year when she filled in for John Pew at the event in a Honda Ligier. Marking her first start for Michael Shank Racing, she and Ozz Negri finished fifth.
Jeff Segal: Segal has two starts in the Detroit event and finished among the top-five both times. In 2013, Segal took a podium finish of third and in 2012 took a fourth place result – both times racing a Ferrari.
COTA REWIND: In what looked to be a promising run at Circuit of the Americas for both of the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 machines, an ill-timed full course caution cost the team a likely strong result, as the No. 86 and No. 93 each took on a different strategy. With a 10th place result for the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 of Ozz Negri and Jeff Segal, and a hard fought 14th place finish for the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 of Katherine Legge and Andy Lally, the Michael Shank Racing team was left to wonder about what could have been in Round 4 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at COTA.
NEW FOR 2017: In addition to the brand new cars and drivers in the Michael Shank Racing stable, the team has also added seven additional team members for the two car-effort. New for 2017 is Michael Shank Racing General Manager Tim Keene, who spent time in a management role at DeltaWing Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing.
Ozz Negri, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3: “Detroit isn’t necessarily our strongest track because there are a lot of slow corners and acceleration after them. We’re not particularly strong there right now. It is definitely the bumpiest track we go to and we have improved immensely. The bumps at Detroit are at higher speed than at Long Beach – not in the form of outright speed but in the velocity on the shock so it’s a little bit different. We are making progress every race. It is a new program and we are doing the best we can – hopefully we will be lucky there. Long Beach wasn’t a track that suited us the best but we were on track for a sixth place finish.”
Jeff Segal, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3: “I’m looking forward to Detroit. At long beach we didn’t have the result we were looking for but we ran pretty strong. We were poised for maybe a top-five finish which would have been okay. It’s not the aspirations of any of us here but it’s a step in the right direction. Both cars looked pretty strong there at Long Beach so if that’s any indication about Detroit than we should be in good shape but we know we still have a lot of work to do. We’re still learning every session about the cars. We’re still finding things in terms of set up that’s really valuable. We’ll keep heading in that direction and the results will come.”
Katherine Legge, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3: “I was immensely grateful to drive the Prototype car for Mike (Shank) and for HPD last year – and now I know the track! It’s great to have had that experience last year and I think it will help this year as well. It’s just really cool that it was the place where it all started to happen with Michael Shank Racing. I think we should be good in Detroit – were relatively competitive in Long Beach – and if that’s anything to go on, we should be right there and fighting.”
Andy Lally, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3: “Detroit is one of the most challenging street circuits in North America. It actually has a little bit of elevation change here and there and it has quite a different array of corners including some fast sweepers which you don’t really see on a lot of street circuits today. I’m looking forward to the amazing event that Detroit always puts on – not just on the track but off the track as well.”
Source. Sunday Group