MSR with Curb Frustrated at Canada Sunday




Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Faces Frustration at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (10 July 2016) – Hoping for another big result following a podium run at Watkins Glen last weekend, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian faced frustration at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship staged Round 7 of the 2016 championship.

After showing well in practice and posting the second-fastest time in the Sunday morning warm up, a combination of unfortunate events saw John Pew and Ozz Negri finish sixth in the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix.

Pew started the race from the fourth row after qualifying the No. 60 Honda-Ligier seventh on Saturday. When the green flag flew for the 2 hour, 40 minute race, he worked to stay with the lead group of prototypes and traffic was a key element as the prototype class encountered the three other slower classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship just seven minutes into the race.

Unfortunately, that traffic caught Pew out when he had contact with a slower PC car in Turn 10 causing the No. 60 to spin. Pew managed to keep the car off of the wall and was able to return to the fray, but had lost a good amount of track position.

A lap down to the leaders, Pew continued to put down clean and consistent laps before pitting under green flag conditions nearly 50 minutes into the race for a full service pit stop and a driver change.

Negri immediately went to work at the controls of the No. 60 machine as he moved his way forward. Unfortunately his forward progress was halted when a full course caution was displayed to slow the runners. As the field packed up, the team was penalized for a procedural misstep during the caution period. Unfortunately it was a severe price to pay as Negri was forced to return to pit lane for a race-ruining 2 minute, 20 second stop and hold penalty due to having been judged to have made an improper wave around under yellow.

Three laps down to the leaders, the Michael Shank Racing squad simply utilized the remainder of the race as a test session for the Honda-Ligier with Negri doing his best to race cleanly and avoid interfering with any of the racing going on for position among the four classes.

“Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong today – including a piece of random carbon that wedged itself on our windshield wiper that Ozz (Negri) couldn’t see around,” explained Team Owner Mike Shank. “We learned today, and we just will move forward. All we could do today was utilize the race as a test session for us. It’s tough. The crew did great, they reacted in real time quickly. I’m proud of the guys for sticking with it until the end. It’s just a tough deal – it was a perfect storm of issues today and we’ll just learn from them and move on here.”

Following near non-stop traveling for the Michael Shank Racing team since mid-May when the organization first traveled over to Europe to begin its Le Mans preparations, the team will enjoy a bit of a break now as the group heads back home to Ohio.

The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event will take place in one month at Road America where Pew and Negri have always finished among the top-five, including a runner-up finish in 2014.