Michael Shank Racing has confirmed that the team will race in Detroit’s IMSA Sports Car Classic on June 4th with the #60 Michael Shank Racing Honda-powered Ligier.
With the core Michael Shank Racing based in Europe from the end of May, the IMSA Detroit outing will be made in parallel with the team’s preparations for its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut on June 18-19.
With MSR also set to participate in the 5 June Le Mans Test Day, the Detroit IMSA race effort will see the deployment of some complex travel logistics as the 100-minute Detroit sprint event will take the checkered flag just over 12 hours before the green flag flies to start the Test Day in Le Mans, France.
With the close proximity of dates the team had initially elected to not participate in the Detroit race weekend.
But with the logistics now confirmed and with support from Honda, Michael Shank Racing has entered the Detroit event and will look to make a return to the podium after scoring second in the 2015 race.
John Pew, who won the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race with Ozz Negri earlier this month, will be tabbed to manage the initial Le Mans Test Day runs on June 5th for Michael Shank Racing as Negri makes his way to the Circuit de le Sarthe.
Michael Shank Racing has drafted Katherine Legge to share the driving duties with Negri in Detroit, as Legge’s DeltaWing squad is not scheduled to compete that weekend and agreed to allow her to join the team for the Detroit weekend.
Further bolstering the Detroit effort will be Doran Racing’s Kevin Doran, who brings decades of IMSA experience as a team owner and manager to the weekend. Members of the Doran Racing squad will also supplement the on-site personnel for the Michael Shank Racing effort.
“I have to admit that I hated the idea of missing Detroit, so for everything to come together for us to race that weekend the way that it has, I’m really happy,” said Michael Shank Racing Team Owner Mike Shank. “Hopefully we can bring Honda some good points in the championship. Thanks to Katherine (Legge) for jumping in to help us out with John (Pew) already being set up for the Test Day in France. We are looking forward to having her with us, and I really appreciate Dr. Panoz and Tim (Keene, DeltaWing team manager) letting her join us that weekend. It’s a bit more logistical legwork for us, but we’ve got a good plan in place, and we’ll have Kevin Doran and some of his guys in Detroit to help us out, so we feel good about having a competitive race in Detroit.”
“This is not only my first time in an LMP2 but my first time racing at Detroit and I am really looking forward to it,” said Legge. “I am extremely grateful to Mike Shank and Honda for offering me this chance to drive and really appreciate that Dr. Panoz (Panoz DeltaWing Racing team owner) agrees that this is too good of an opportunity to miss as the DeltaWing is not racing. Ozz (Negri) has already started sending me in-car footage and notes for me to study, and I hope to be as ready as possible from the start of the weekend. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend on making as much of it as I possibly can.”