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  • Heartbreak for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian in Rolex 24 At Daytona

    Posted January 31, 2016 By in MSR News With | Comments Off

    2016 Rolex 24 at DaytonaDaytona Beach, Fla. (31 January 2016) - Setting a race-leading pace as the team looked to win a second title at the “World Center of Racing,” Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian delivered an impressive performance in the opening 285 laps of the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

    With new and returning commercial partnerships including Curb Records, Tire Kingdom, Florida Lottery, and Zak Products joining the No. 60 Honda-Ligier effort for the 54th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the event was a highly anticipated one for the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona champion team and its drivers John Pew, Ozz Negri, AJ Allmendinger, and Olivier Pla.

    Unfortunately, despite leading 99 laps in the pursuit of victory, the effort was cut short just under 10 hours into the endurance classic2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona when the No. 60 Tire Kingdom / Florida Lottery Honda-powered Ligier suffered an engine failure as the car led the race.

    The Honda-Ligier started from third on the grid after Negri qualified the car during a very wet and treacherous session on Thursday. He moved up to run in second place through the opening laps before handing the car over to John Pew.

    Pew was right up to speed in the No. 60 Tire Kingdom / Florida Lottery machine. When a gaggle of cars checked up going into the Bus Stop during one of the many frenetic restarts, the 2016 Rolex 24 at DaytonaNo. 60 made contact with a car ahead. Fortunately, the damage was just cosmetic and he continued to run.

    Pla took over driving duties next and moved the car into the lead for the first time on Lap 130. He delivered a stellar stint, stretching his leading margin to over a 30-second advantage as he worked his way through the traffic-filled road course. The team, which saw the off season full of training result in clockwork-like pit stops, placed a fresh nose onto the car during a full course caution.

    Just after the five and a half hour mark of the race, Allmendinger took control of the No. 60 Tire Kingdom / Florida Lottery Ligier and it wasn’t long before he regained the race lead to mark his 11th consecutive Rolex 24 event in which he led the race, every time with Michael Shank Racing.

    Negri returned for his second stint when the clock ticked over into the seventh hour. He had the car once again comfortably in the lead, with Pew waiting in the wings to take over the driving duties when the experienced Brazilian called to the team that “something has happened,” signaling the beginning of the end.

    He pulled off track and the stranded car was towed back to the garage area as the team prepared to make repairs in order to keep the laps clicking off. Unfortunately, the engine problem 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytonawas a terminal one and the team was forced to retire.

    “It was going exactly how we had planned – we were literally dead on where we wanted to be,” said a disappointed Team Owner Mike Shank. “When you have everything performing like it was and to have it all go away in a split second, with no warning at all, I don’t even know where to begin. I feel bad for every single person who is involved with the program, who put so much into it. Big thanks to Tire Kingdom and Florida Lottery for being on board for this, it was crucial to have their support. We were so prepared, so ready to do this. We were conserving everything we could conserve to be ready for the end of the race.”

    Michael Shank Racing will now turn the page to the second round of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition on March 19 with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

    Rolex 24 Driver Quotes:

    John Pew, 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona Winner: “The car was good—after the contact I had, the car wasn’t handling well but I kept driving it anyways. It was okay, but it was pretty 013016_ROLEX24_BC_16151unsettled in some of the corners. Then when Olivier (Pla) got in, he noticed the same thing and the team was able to fix it under a yellow.  It was better after that. I was really looking forward to getting back in the car for my second stint, and to driving it when it was feeling like it should have with the nose repaired. We had a great car, and it was our race to lose. So I feel really bad for all the guys. Everyone that worked so hard: Olivier (Pla), Ozz (Negri), AJ (Allmendinger), and the whole team.  All these guys are unbelievable, I’m really lucky to have them as teammates. We were just saving up for a fight at the end.”

    Ozz Negri, 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona Winner: “I had no warning (about the engine failure). We were just looking after everything, taking our time. But suddenly the engine let go. It’s tough, it’s really tough to take. But, this happens in racing. Everyone here, the Honda/HPD guys and Ligier and everyone, we are all working together. We win together, we lose together. We would have loved to show Tire Kingdom and Florida Lottery how cool it would be to get another Rolex victory and I am pretty sure we were on our way to getting another one.”

    AJ Allmendinger, 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona Winner: “Our car was very good and fun to drive. In the course of one year since when I drove the car here last year – it’s improved. It’s a great car. We had Tire Kingdom and Florida Lottery on the car – some big name sponsors for Michael Shank Racing. It’s definitely the biggest heart break ever at the 24. My heart hurts for Michael Shank Racing, especially for Mike (Shank), Ozz (Negri), John (Pew) and Olivier (Pla).  I love my teammates. It’s tough not having Justin (Wilson) here, I think everyone on the team was thinking of him this morning. Olivier stepped in and he’s really helped develop this Ligier. He’s really fast and it’s just really fun to watch him drive.”

    Olivier Pla, 1st Rolex 24 Start for Michael Shank Racing: “Up until that point (the engine failure), we were in perfect condition. The team has done a fantastic job, ever since I met them at the Roar Before the 24. I have to thank them for that. It has been a pleasure, how much they all welcomed me into the team – Mike (Shank), John (Pew), Ozz (Negri) and AJ (Allmendinger).  It is unfortunate that it ended up like this, because we had the car to win the race. The car was fantastic. I can only say a big thanks to the team and we will fight back in Sebring.”

  • Florida Lottery Joins Michael Shank Racing for Rolex 24

    Posted January 29, 2016 By in MSR News With | Comments Off

    siteLogoDaytona Beach, Fla. (29 January 2016) –  Michael Shank Racing is looking to get a fast start to the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend, and the squad got another boost in that effort as it announced on Wednesday that Florida Lottery has joined the team as a marketing partner for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

    Michael Shank Racing will aim for a second overall victory in the 54th annual running of the huge endurance challenge. The race is the first event of the 10-round IMSA WeatherTech Championship and marks a key starting point for the season long battle as teams look to get a strong start to the year.

    The Florida Lottery is experiencing a strong start to 2016, having already generated an estimated $187 million in revenue for the Florida Education system so far in 2016. This follows up a strong fiscal year 2014-15, which generated $1.5 billion in transfers to education as the Florida Lottery established itself as the second highest contributor to education among all state lottery systems.

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  • Ozz Negri Puts Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Third on Rolex 24 Grid

    Posted January 28, 2016 By in MSR News With | Comments Off

    Qualifying 03Daytona Beach, Fla. (28 January 2016) – Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will start the 54th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona from third on the grid on Saturday after driver Ozz Negri braved some treacherous track conditions on Thursday in the No. 60 Tire Kingdom Honda-Ligier to post a fast lap time of 2:07.432-seconds.

    Rain fell all day on Thursday through the two practice sessions held ahead of qualifying at the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. With puddles of standing water already on the circuit, the rains worsened during the 15 minute qualifying session with it bucketing down by the time the checkered flag flew.

    The team, which impressed in testing at the Roar before the 24, dealt with challenging conditions from the start of the day. Mindful of those conditions, Michael Shank Racing took a conservative approach to qualifying with one goal in mind – keep the Tire Kingdom car on track and in prime condition for the big 24-hour endurance classic on Saturday.

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  • Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Adds ZAK Products as New Partner

    Posted January 25, 2016 By in MSR News With | Comments Off

    zakPataskala, Ohio (25 January 2016) – Adding to the momentum of recent partnerships that include both new and returning partners, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian is pleased to announce a new partnership with ZAK Products for the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

    The team will carry branding from ZAK Products as well as put a wide range of ZAK Products directly to use as part of the team’s IMSA race effort.

    Michael Shank Racing is preparing for its 13th consecutive season in IMSA competition, with the team retaining full-season pilots John Pew and Ozz Negri for 2016. The team campaigns a Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 prototype machine, as it kicks off the 2016 season with the 54th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 30-31 with Olivier Pla and NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger joining the 24-hour endurance line-up.

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  • Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Looking to Return to Rolex 24 Podium

    Posted By in MSR News With | Comments Off

    Pataskala, Ohio (25 January 2016) – Every IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race is important. But for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian, there is something special about the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

    The Ohio-based squad has stood on the Rolex 24 At Daytona podium four times, including the team’s big win in the 50thAnniversary event in 2012. This year, Michael Shank Racing eyes a return to the revered Daytona podium.

    With a productive off-season of preparation, a lot of confidence in the team’s technical package, and a driver line-up of John Pew, Ozz Negri, AJ Allmendinger, and Olivier Pla, Michael Shank Racing has once again assembled what it takes to deliver a big result.

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