Michael Shank Seventh at Long Beach

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Seventh at Long Beach

Long Beach, Calif. (16 April 2016) – Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian held on to a seventh place finish through the streets of Long Beach on Saturday with drivers John Pew and Ozz Negri wheeling the No. 60 Honda-powered Ligier to the checkered flag in the 100-minute sprint race.

The Ohio-based squad made gains on the No. 60 machine, which featured another sleek new livery from team partner AERO Advanced Paint Technology, through the weekend but faced an uphill battle at the concrete-lined temporary street circuit. The nimble Ligier doesn’t have the power off of the corners that the drivers of the big displacement V8s of the Daytona Prototype enjoy, which left Pew and Negri fighting to keep up through each corner of the 1.968-mile course.

“We made a lot of improvements on the car, but we just don’t have the torque that we need at a track like this,” said Pew. “I think they have to think about what to do about that in the future. You catch up to a car and do a good laptime but you just can’t pass them coming out of the corners. Dale (Wise) our engineer did a fantastic job. The car is handling well, we just tried to stay out of trouble and have a race with a decent finish.”

Pew ran the first 48 minutes of the race before pitting under green flag conditions to hand the car over to Negri. The Michael Shank Racing team performed an absolutely flawless stop and Negri returned to the order eighth in class.

“We try our hardest day in and day out and today was no exception,” said Negri. “Being behind the No. 90 (sixth place) car at the end of the race was pretty frustrating because I could get close to him under braking but coming out of the corner he would just disappear from me. I hope the series will review the BOP and that we can get what we deserve. We have to be proud of the improvement we made in the car from this race last year. If we had the same as what the DPs have, we’d be able to give them a run for their money. It’s really frustrating to be going flat out and see a car ahead of you just drive away. John (Pew) did an absolutely fantastic job today. He did everything we asked of him. It’s been three races and in the first two we didn’t finish, so I’m happy to finish today.”

Though disappointed with the current IMSA competition adjustment situation, Team Owner Mike Shank was pleased with his team’s effort.

“The car was pretty good, but we just didn’t have the acceleration,” said Shank. “From top to bottom, from the crew to the drivers everyone executed exactly how we had hoped. So, no complaints there at all. I’m pleased with everything this team has done, the car is much better than it was last year.”

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian next travels to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two weeks, where the team took a podium result last year.