Michael Shank Racing-Sebring

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Set for Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

MOBIL 1 TWELVE HOURS OF SEBRING: Round 2 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship // Round 2 of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

Saturday, March 19 at 10:30 AM on FOX Sports 1. Green flag to wave at 10:40 AM ET.

SEBRING DRIVERS: Full-season Michael Shank Racing drivers John Pew and Ozz Negri will be joined by Olivier Pla, who will compete for the team in all four Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup events.

TIRE KINGDOM BACK ON BOARD: Tire Kingdom returns as the primary sponsor for the No. 60 Honda-powered Ligier for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The No. 60 Tire Kingdom car was on display at the local Sebring Tire Kingdom store (340 US Hwy 27 S, Sebring, FL 33870) Friday, March 11 – Sunday, March 13.

LOOKING FOR SEBRING REDEMPTION: After qualifying fourth with the No. 60 Honda-Ligier last year, a crash took the Michael Shank Racing team out of the race just 46 laps into the 12-hour event. With the team and car now stronger than ever, Michael Shank Racing is looking for redemption at Sebring International Raceway in 2016.

Sebring 2014: Started: 17th Finished: 9th (Ford Ecoboost Riley, John Pew/Ozz Negri/Justin Wilson)
Sebring 2015: Started: 4th Finished: 13th (Honda Ligier JS P2, John Pew/Ozz Negri/Justin Wilson)

PLA ON POLE: Olivier Pla scored the pole position for last year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with a time of 1:51.152-seconds. He was driving Oak Racing’s Ligier JS P2.

REMEMBERING JUSTIN WILSON: The 2015 Sebring event was Justin Wilson’s final race with Michael Shank Racing and he is remembered by the entire team this weekend. He won the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona with the team and was an integral member of Michael Shank Racing and brand ambassador for Honda. Michael Shank Racing continues to run Justin Wilson decals on the car in his memory.

MOVING FORWARD: A strong contender at Daytona International Speedway, Michael Shank Racing led nearly 100 laps in the Rolex 24 At Daytona before a motor failure saw the team retire during the nighttime hours. The Ohio-based team looks to bounce back in Round 2 of the IMSA championship this weekend.

MIKE SHANK TALKS SEBRING: “We made a nice progression at the Sebring test last month. The car wasn’t as good as we had hoped it would be off the trailer, like we’ve typically been in the past. But we worked on it the whole time and now we are really happy with it. The BOP really affected us, they’ve taken the wick out of our fire after Daytona but we’re going to look at that and analyze it just like IMSA will also. From a chassis standpoint, with 17 corners, there is much more chassis stuff going on here at Sebring compared to Daytona, and we made a lot of great progress and I think we’re in decent shape from a balance standpoint. Sebring is very rough here on the car. We’ve had a bit of a tough run at the longer races recently, but I think the car is perfectly capable of a good result. I’ve been extremely pleased with the addition of Olivier Pla to our team. His experience is doing exactly what I expected it to do. He can get in the car in a nominal amount of laps – even though he’s been off doing other things around the world – and he can get in our car and produce exactly what we need him to produce.”

CONTINUED PREP FOR LE MANS: In addition to the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships events, Michael Shank Racing continues prep for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.

John Pew: “Sebring is always a real challenge to get the set up right because it changes minute to minute. The track started out very, very green at the test. As the temperatures rose and rubber got put down on the track it changed. We chased the set up a little bit and made really good progress. Sebring’s one of the toughest endurances races because the track is so tight and there is a lot of traffic with cars all at different speeds. It’s great having Olivier (Pla) with us. He has so much experience with the car and his input is really valuable. He’s fast right away. He can fly in from France and hop in the car and he’s immediately quick.”

Ozz Negri: “The Sebring test went great for us. We were scratching our heads at the beginning and we ended up happy. I think we found a direction to go. The good thing is having Olivier (Pla) in the car because he was on the pole here last year with a 50 kilo lighter car and he knows what we deal with. We are going in the right direction and I feel pretty confident about it. Olivier drives identically to me. If you look at our fastest laps at Daytona there were hundredths apart. It’s the same driving style, we like exactly the same thing.”

Olivier Pla: “The test went well. We made a lot of changes in set up and made a lot of progress. I think for the race we feel fairly confident. Last year the Ligier was fast here at Sebring and if we keep making progress I think it will be good. The competition will be very close. We will be very concentrated on what we are doing and focusing on being as prepared as possible for the race.”

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM FOX Sports 1
12:00 PM – 7:00 PM FOX Sports 2
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM IMSA.com
10:00 PM – 11:00 PM FOX Sports 2