Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Set for Long Beach Sprint


Long Beach, Calif. (17 April 2015) – Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will start the Tequila Patron SportsCar Showcase at Long Beach from seventh on the grid in Saturday’s 100-minute sprint race. The team arrived to Southern California looking forward to Round 3 of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship as it debuts the No. 60 Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 at the track that holds over 40 years of racing history.

John Pew, who shares the No. 60 Honda Ligier JS P2 with Ozz Negri, took to qualifying for the first time this season with Negri having qualified the car at both Daytona and Sebring.

Just two practices were held on Friday prior to the 15-minute qualifying session and the Michael Shank Racing squad worked through some small issues on the car throughout the short amount of track time. The team made big gains on the car from the early morning practice session all the way up through the evening qualifying session.

“It was a tough day for us but it ended pretty well,” said Team Owner Mike Shank. “We think the car is much better than where we started. John (Pew) turned by far his fastest lap by almost three seconds. The guys worked hard all day on the car to get it better and it is better. The lap time where John puts us now puts us in the window we need to be performance wise for later in the race when we put Ozz (Negri) in to be able to fight at the end. I’m just really pleased with John’s progress today.”

Pew took the car out for qualifications and improved his lap time each time by. On his final flying lap, he put down a fast lap of 1:17.427-seconds on the 12-turn, 1.968-mile scenic temporary street course in the No. 60 machine which sports a stunning new blue camo livery provided by AERO Paint .

“It was pretty good, every lap got a little bit better,” said Pew following the qualifying run. “I’m still learning the car with the track. They did a great job getting the car set up from before when we were a little bit off. We’re much closer now. We have a good racecar. I’ll have the catbird seat for the start so I’ll see what happens in front of me. My goal is just to run clean laps and give the car over to Ozz (Negri) in good position.”

Pew will open tomorrow’s sprint event before handing the car over to Negri who will anchor the team to the finish. The 100-minute race could see a mix of different strategies as the TUDOR Championship stages its first sprint race of the year.

Saturday’s race will go green at 4:05 PM local time (7:05 PM ET) with IMSA.com to stream live video coverage of the event.

FOX Sports 1 will televise the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on Sunday at 4:00 PM ET.