TEAM BIOS

MIKE SHANK / Team Owner

Mike Shank first started racing professionally in 1989, and quickly made a name for himself, earning notice as the SCCA-Ohio Valley Region Novice Driver of the Year. He didn’t lose any momentum as he moved up the ladder, taking the 1996 Toyota Atlantic C2 Championship before moving up to race in the Indy Racing League.

As he gained winning experience in the car, he put that knowledge to work as his team expanded to run other drivers and Shank eventually retired as a driver to focus on running and growing his team.

Competing in the Champ Car Toyota Atlantic Championship, Michael Shank Racing flourished with drivers like Kenny Wilden, Sam Hornish Jr., and Johnny Rutherford finding success with the team. Wilden scored runner-up in the 1999 Toyota Atlantic Championship, and Shank won “Team Owner of the Year” twice in four years before deciding to move his team into a new direction and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2004.

Shank, who himself had one start as a driver in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, oversaw his team’s adroit adaptation to the rigors of endurance racing, as the team led the first race they entered and finished on the podium in the second race they entered.

With multiple podium trophies on the mantle in the Columbus, Ohio, shop, Shank is focused on taking his team to the next level, with a full-time stable of two cars, and with a talented stable of drivers piloting cars prepared by a loyal and professional crew, he is likely to continue to grow the legacy of the team.

Michael Shank Racing made its 250th Prototype start in the 2016 Petit Le Mans and won the event. It marked longtime team driver John Pew’s final race with the team before retiring from IMSA racing. Having competed in the top IMSA Prototype category for over 10 years, 2017 sees Mike Shank’s team enter the GTD class championship with a two-car Acura NSX GT3 effort

Accomplishments

Driver
  • 30-plus national victories in Formula Ford, Formula Continental, Sports 2000 and Formula Atlantic competition
  • 1999 – KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship Car Owner of the Year
  • 1999 – United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC), Can-Am Division. Co-drove a Intersport Racing Lola T98/10 in Rolex 24 at Daytona with Jon Fields, Sam Hornish Jr., and Ryan Jones. Qualified eighth and finished 42nd following mechanical problems
  • 1997 – Indy Racing League (IRL), qualified 25th and finished 13th in the Las Vegas 500 with Neinhouse Motorsports
  • 1996 – Champion, C2 Division, Player’s/Toyota Atlantic Championship
  • 1989 – SCCA-Ohio Valley Region Novice Driver of the Year
Team Owner
  • 2006 – Won the Discount Tire Sunchase 1000K in Utah
  • 2008 – Won the sunrichgourmet.com 100 at Utah & the Super Car Life 25 at Millville, NJ
  • 2011 – Had three entries in the Rolex 24
  • 2012 – Won the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24
  • 2013 – Fastest lap recorded at the Daytona International Speedway by Colin Braun
  • 2016 – First entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans where they led 2 laps and finished 9th
  • Raced 10 years in the Daytona Prototype class before switching to P2
  • 2016 – Qualified on pole and won the Petit Le Mans
  • Led 1,335 laps over the team's career (2004-2016)

Tim Keene / General Manager

Tim joined Michael Shank Racing in the fall of 2016 as General Manager. Keene, who most recently served as Team Manager for the DeltaWing Racing team, has a tremendous amount of experience in the industry and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Michael Shank Racing team.

Before entering the world of sports car racing, Keene spent a considerable amount of time in open-wheel racing. He began as a truck driver and fueler in 1994 and went on to become the lead mechanic at Chip Ganassi Racing for championship-winning drivers Alex Zanardi, Jimmy Vasser, and Juan Pablo Montoya.

In 2004, Keene took over Chip Ganassi Racing’s sports car program and led the group to 40 victories, seven championships and five Rolex 24 At Daytona victories.

Favorite Racing Moment: Winning the 2000 Indianapolis 500 with Juan Pablo Montoya

Hobbies: golf

DALE WISE

Lead Engineer, No 93 Acura NSX GT3


Wise, who worked as Crew Chief at Truesports in IndyCar competition also took wins in Toyota Atlantics with drivers Kenny Wilden and Martin Basso, and has converted his knowledge quickly as the team made the move into Rolex racing. Never satisfied no matter how fast the car is, Wise is a driving force in the Michael Shank Racing effort in his current role as Technical Director for the team.

When he’s not working on making race cars go faster, Wise still keeps speed as part of his activities, as he enjoys boating and is a big motorcycle enthusiast.

COLIN WARD

Assistant Engineer, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3


Colin joined the team as an assistant engineer at the beginning of the 2015 season. His first event with the team was the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona. He graduated from the University of Michigan in Mechanical Engineering and previously worked for Corvette Racing with Pratt and Miller. He has been involved in the SCCA since he was 14 years old.

Current Duties with MSR: Race Strategy, Data Analysis

Hobbies: Rugby, working on my personal race car and motorcycle

JUSTIN HARNISFAGER

Crew Chief, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3


Justin joined MSR in 2005, and has been a significant contribution to the team effort from day one. He graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio with a degree in Automotive High Performance in 2005. Justin volunteered with Phoenix Promotions (Team Sahlen) while in school in 2004 & 2005. He joined Michael Shank Racing working on bodywork and then transitioned to mechanic on the No. 6 car before ultimately becoming the crew chief for the No. 60 Prototype and now the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3.

Current Duties with MSR: Justin is the crew chief on the No. 93 car and also does sub assembly for both cars. On race day, Justin is the driver change assistant and the fourth tire changer when needed.

Favorite Racing Moment Other than Winning the Rolex 24: “The 2008 Utah race. The No. 60 car had just won the prior race at New Jersey and had also won at Utah the year before. The car ran well all race, we had really good stops which helped to move us forward during the race and eventually take the win. It was a great team effort by the crew and the drivers.”

Hobbies Outside of Racing: building his Spec Miata, boating/skiing/watersports, traveling with his wife and exploring new places.

DARIN PIGG

Gearbox Mechanic, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3


Darin Pigg is one of Mike Shank’s most loyal employees, having originally started with the team in 1992, sweeping the floor of the teams old shop before getting the chance to work on the cars himself. Once he did, he was quickly tabbed to take over the crew chief position in 1997, heading up the Toyota Atlantic Championship effort for Johnny Rutherford III, and took his first win in the position in 1999 as crew chief for Sam Hornish Jr.

Pigg has also worked in the Champ Car ranks, having worked for the Forsythe organization before rejoining MSR in 2002.

The switch to Rolex racing has given Pigg the chance to do something he never could in Atlantics-leap over the wall during the pit stops, where he changes the left front tire and is responsible for the windscreen and checking the radiators during every stop.

DAVID LEITER

Mechanic, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3


David Leiter’s history of working in racing started when he began working on autocross and show room stock cars in 1986. He serviced cars for the Silver State Classic and One Lap of America. He also prepped and crewed for a Spec Racer Ford team and Formula Mazda team. David got behind the wheel in showroom stock and improved touring before joining Michael Shank Racing in 1998 in Formula Atlantic. Additionally, David spent two years in composite and repair on racecar parts.

Current duties with MSR: Works as a mechanic on the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 – helps maintain and repair at the shop and on the road. At the track he maintains and repairs, and helps implement set up changes for the No. 93. On Race day, you'll see him over the wall as air jack and rear tire changer.

Favorite Moment Racing Moment Other than Winning the Rolex 24: “It’s hard to pick just one. I do like the early night time hours under the lights at Daytona doing the pit stops. Seeing my car take the checkered flag at every race.”

Hobbies: classic cars, late night tv, tools

KEVIN WIMER

Bodywork Mechanic, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3


Kevin grew up around flat track motorcycle racing helping out around his uncle’s shop whenever he could and began working for Michael Shank Racing in June 2006 . He credits Mike Shank and the rest of the team with having shaped him into the person he is today.

Current duties with MSR: Kevin is in charge of the bodywork department at the track and watches all the fuel that goes into and comes out of the car. During the race he changes the front tires on the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3.

Favorite Racing Moment Other than Winning the Rolex 24: “Completing my first at speed brake change during the 2011 24 hour race. It was a moment where I was very proud of myself and I could see that other people were too.”

Hobbies: Diesel truck drag racing – Dodge Cummins; go-karting, riding four wheelers with his wife, and racing RC cars

RALPH LOHR

Transportation


Ralph has spent 15 years working with the Michael Shank Racing organization as the team’s truck driver. He has the important task of transporting the racecars and all of the team equipment to and from each racetrack across the country. The 11-race IMSA schedule takes Ralph through most of the country with stops ranging from Florida to New York to Toronto to California.

Favorite Racing Moment Other than Winning the Rolex 24: “REA-LLY!”

Hobbies: Relaxing with an adult beverage

BRETT DOZMATI

Electronics


Prior to joining Michael Shank Racing, Brett worked at Rahal-Letterman Racing from 2004-2008 doing wiring/radio/dag.

Current Duties with MSR: Fire bottle during pit stop. In charge of all wiring/sensors/radios on race car and support equipment

Favorite Racing Moment Other than Winning the Rolex 24: “2005 Indy 500 when the team cars finished second and fifth.”

Hobbies: tuning and drag racing Camaro

JASON GIVENS

Team Coordinator


Jason joined Michael Shank Racing in 2005.

Current Duties with MSR: Fire bottle on pit stops as well as general help with whatever the team may need.

Favorite Racing Moment Other than Winning the Rolex 24: "When Mike Shank won in Salt Lake City and also seeing my wife meet her favorite driver at the 24 hr race in Daytona."

Hobbies: I love watching my son Trey play sports and being with my family and friends.

Trent Butterfield

Mechanic, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3


Trent first joined Michael Shank Racing in 2002. He previously had worked in drag racing with John Force Racing beginning in 1992. He also worked at Forsythe Racing (previously known as Tasman) as a mechanic for both Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta. Prior to returning to Michael Shank Racing several years ago, Trent worked for Team Rahal as Crew Chief for Chris Festa’s Toyota Atlantic car and as a mechanic for Kenny Brack and Danica Patrick’s IndyCar programs.

Current duties with Michael Shank Racing: Trent works as a mechanic both at the race shop and at the racetrack while also assisting with fuel and bodywork. He serves as fire bottle during the team’s pit stops.

Favorite Racing Moment Other than Winning the Rolex 24: Winning the 2004 Indianapolis 500 with Buddy Rice

Hobbies: working on cars and building hot rods

Ryan McCarthy

Engineer, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Ryan joined Michael Shank Racing at the start of the 2017 season when the team transitioned to the Acura NSX GT3. He worked at Stevenson Motorsports in 2016 on an Audi LMS R8 and previously worked for Fall-Line Motorsports on their GS program in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Ryan also has worked for a PC team as well as in NASCAR.

Ryan serves as the engineer for the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3.

Favorite Racing Moment: Winning the 2014 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship with Fall-Line Motorsports where Ryan served as the team engineer.

Hobbies: cycling, mountain biking, hiking, anything outdoors

Vincent Forges

Assistant Engineer, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Originally from France, Vincent joined Michael Shank Racing for the 2017 season as the team began its two-car Acura NSX GT3 effort. Prior to working for Michael Shank Racing, Vincent worked at W Racing Team which ran an Audi in Europe.

Vincent first got involved in racing through karting in France and went on to become a driver in Formula SAE.

He serves as the Assistant Engineer on the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 and as deadman on the team’s pit stops.

Favorite Racing Moment: Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2017 – finishing fifth with a brand new car

Hobbies: racing

Adam Rovazzini

Crew Chief, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Adam joined Michael Shank Racing in November 2016 as the team transitioned to the new Acura NSX GT3 program. Adam spent time kart racing on the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup circuit and previously worked at Chip Ganassi Racing for 15 years on the team’s IndyCar program.

Adam serves as the Crew Chief for the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 and as the front tire changer during pit stops.

Favorite Racing Moment: Winning the 2008 Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Championship with Scott Dixon

Hobbies: cycling and triathlons

Nat Dorsay

Mechanic, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Nat joined Michael Shank Racing in December 2016 as the team transitioned to the new Acura NSX GT3 program. Nat previously worked at VISIT FLORIDA Racing and at DragonSpeed as a mechanic. Having been around cars his entire life, Nat began working as a mechanic at the age of 21.

A mechanic on the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3, Nat serves as the tire assist during pit stops.

Favorite Racing Moment: Competing in the 24 Hours of Spa with DragonSpeed

Hobbies: MMA fighter, spending time with his daughter

RIon Kelley

Mechanic, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Rion joined Michael Shank Racing in 2016 having previously worked on a Top Fuel Funny Car program after attending college at UNOH. He grew up around racing – beginning at just nine years old when he raced a junior dragster.

Rion is the fueler for the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 and serves as a mechanic and fabricator at the Michael Shank Racing race shop.

Favorite Racing Moment: Drag Racing Finals in 2016

Hobbies: racing, working on cars, autocross

Kevin O'Donnell

Mechanic, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Kevin began working for Michael Shank Racing in 2017 ahead of the team’s new Acura NSX GT3 program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Prior to working at Michael Shank Racing, Kevin spent 15 years as a mechanic for Chip Ganassi Racing on both the team’s IndyCar and sports car racing programs.

Away from the track Kevin is a commercial real estate broker. He serves as a mechanic on race weekends and does rear tires during pit stops.

Favorite Racing Moment: Winning the 2010 Indianapolis 500 with Dario Franchitti

Hobbies: cycling, golf

Perry Melneciuc

Mechanic, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Perry joined Michael Shank Racing in 2017. A professional motorcycle racer from 1990-2014, Perry has a storied career in the sport. Working for a range of factory bike efforts, Perry also served as a mechanic and engineer for riders such as Jake Zemke and Ben Bostrom. In 2011, he and his wife Kellee put together a privateer team and won the first pole for a privateer bike organization with Jake Semke at the Daytona 200.

Transitioning from motorcycles to cars in 2012, Perry worked at DeltaWing Racing from 2012-2016.

Current Duties at MSR: Mechanic, Driver Assist during pit stops

Favorite Racing Moment: Winning the Daytona 200 in 2012 with the motorcycle racing team that he and his wife put together and also finishing second as a rider in the 2002 International Lightweight Grand Prix in a Yamaha TZ250.

Hobbies: cycling, racing bicycles

Tom Keene

Transportation


Tom joined Michael Shank Racing ahead of the 2017 race season. He previously spent the last decade working with several different IndyCar race programs which included PacWest, Chip Ganassi Racing, and Sarah Fisher Racing.

Tom grew up just down the road from Indianapolis Raceway Park and was born into the sport with his parents competing in drag racing.

As part of Michael Shank Racing’s transportation team, Tom has the important duty of transporting all of the team’s equipment to and from the racetrack. While at the shop, Tom assists in the parts department and in shipping and receiving.

Favorite Racing Moment: first IndyCar win with Mauricio Gugelmin in 1997 at Vancouver

Hobbies: golf

Rich Vance

Transportation, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Rich Vance has been involved with several teams in the IMSA Series for the previous 18 years. He has spent time at teams such as Intersport, Dyson, BAR1, and Mazda in addition to his multiple years at Michael shank Racing.

As a teenager Rich attended races and enjoyed watching them on television. A friend referred him to the Intersport team 18 years ago as a truck driver and he has remained in the sport ever since

Favorite Racing Moment: Winning the last 3 races of the 2013 IMSA season

Hobbies: Riding his motorcycle, ATV off roading, spending time with family

Kurt Baker

Mechanic, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Prior to joining Michael Shank Racing in 2017, Kurt worked on the Honda of America Racing Team (HART) for many years, primarily campaigning Civics and Accords in what is now the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. Throughout the years, Kurt worked in several areas of the team including chassis set-up, gearbox mechanic and as the crew chief.

He is currently a full-time project leader for the Acura NSX at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.

In June of 1989, Kurt attended the Nelson Ledges Longest Day, a 24 hour race sports car race. The competitors were primarily mildly modified production cars and so that gave he and a co-worked the idea to start a racing team at Honda of America. He has been involved in racing ever since.

Kurt supports car preparation at the track and is part of the fueling team on the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3.

Favorite Racing Moment: In 1996, HART was competing in the North American Touring Car Championship and Kurt was the Crew Chief. The team won both rounds at Mid-Ohio including one where driver Peter Cunningham had to start from the back. The event was extra special as it was televised live on ABC Wide World of Sports.

Hobbies: racing, spending time with his wife and three kids, operating a small steer farm

Tyler Chambers

Mechanic, No. 93 Acura NSX GT3


Tyler began assisting the Michael Shank Racing team as a mechanic ahead of the 2017 race season. He works as a full-time Honda engineer in new model quality. Always interested in cars and racing, Tyler began working for a shop in high school that worked on race cars – primarily vintage Porsches.

Tyler serves as a part-time mechanic for Michael Shank Racing and is the tire assist on pit stops.

Favorite Racing Moment: Winning at VIRginia International Raceway with HART Racing in the Honda Civic in 2016

Hobbies: working on cars, racing a Honda Civic in SCCA competition

Andrew Salzano

Engineering, No. 86 Acura NSX GT3


Andrew joined Michael Shank Racing in 2017 as part of the team’s new Acura NSX GT3 program. Prior to joining Michael Shank Racing, he worked as the Crew Chief and Engineer on the HART Racing Honda Civic in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series. Andrew works full time at Honda as a steering system development engineer and was responsible for the steering system in the road NSX that is also used the NSX GT3 race car.

Andrew first got involved in racing while in college at North Carolina State University on the Formula SAE team in 2007. Since then he has spent time volunteering with different racing programs, most recently with HART.

At Michael Shank Racing, Andrew assists with in-car camera support, power steering development, and supporting the engineers on both cars. During race events, Andrew helps the engineers on the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 and provides pit stop support.

Favorite Racing Moment: All five wins with HART Racing

Hobbies: working on project cars and helping HART members prepare cars for club racing

Chad Gilsinger

Support


Chad first began assisting the Michael Shank Racing team in 2017 when the organization transitioned to the Acura NSX GT3 program. Chad previously drove for HART Racing in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with a Honda Civic. He is a Senior Engineer in Vehicle Performance Research at Honda, focused on the Advanced Traction System Tuning with Super Handling AWD. Chad is also a lead development driver for limit performance and circuit tuning for all Honda models.

At the track, Chad helps with chassis work and assists where needed during pit stops.

Chad first became involved in racing when he began working with the HART Racing team on his first day of work, where his main role started with mechanic work focused on the chassis area. At the same time, he bought a go-kart for himself and his four-year-old son in order to sharpen his driving skills with the hope of one day getting the chance to race.

Favorite Racing Moment: Getting the pole position for the first IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Originally from Indiana, Chad grew up watching and attending the Indianapolis 500 so to get the pole with his whole family there to see it was very special.

Hobbies: cars!

Reg Schmeiss

Tire Management


Reg first joined Michael Shank Racing for the 2016 Petit Le Mans. He returned to the team for the 2017 season and manages the tire program for both of the Acura NSX GT3s.

Originally from Australia, Reg began racing at the age of 15 and began working on cars as a young boy. He went on to work for many organizations in the motorsports world throughout his career including: AGS F1 Team, SA Safari Team, Williams F1 Team, Lotus F1 Team, Doran Racing, Panoz Motorsports, BMW Motorsport, OAK Racing, Audi Sport customer racing, Level 5 Motorsports, Fall-Line Motorsports, Effort Racing, and Absolute Team Bentley – to name a few!

Favorite Racing Moment: Several! AGS F1 rear Jackman in the late 1980s, Williams F1 first and third in the rain in 1989 Adelaide, Le Mans 24 Hour victory with factory BMW LMR V12 in 1999.

Hobbies: climbing mountains, hiking, traveling, spending time with his wife