Tough Day at Watkins Glen for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian

MSR_Racing_logoAlready looking ahead to Canadian visit in two weeks’ time

eb7eca7c-2a49-4a95-a728-6ee20b5be425Watkins Glen, New York (29 June 2014) – After starting the race on the back foot, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian kept fighting to the finish in Sunday’s Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen with a hard-fought seventh in class for Round 6 of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Despite having qualified ninth on the 55-car four class grid on Saturday, a procedural penalty ahead of the race saw the team forced to start from pit lane and then take a drive-through penalty once the race started. Pew put the distraction aside to make steady progress through the traffic-packed 3.4-mile circuit in his opening stint after having been demoted to 48th in the overall running order. Moving up to be in touch with the rest of the Prototype field, Pew then turned the car over to Negri for the Brazilian’s first stint of the day.

“It’s not too bad,” said Pew of racing in the high heat of the day. “We work out in the heat a lot, we drive go-karts down in Miami in the late afternoon when it’s really hot so we get used to it. So the heat wasn’t really too bad for me.  It was fun working through the traffic. It was pretty busy dealing with all of that but most people are pretty heads up so it’s not a problem. It seems like the quality of the drivers might be a bit higher than it used to be. It was a lot of fun.”

Negri did his best to carve through the field, moving up to the top-10 before the six hour race reached its 50th lap.

Pew took over once again as the race reached the halfway point with the No. 60 Ecoboost/Riley continuing to click off the laps through a very hot afternoon, holding on to seventh overall until turning the car over to Negri to take to the finish.
After moving up to sixth in the order, the team had a second significant setback with a throttle problem that cost several laps and saw the team slip to seventh. Returning to action 27th in the overall order, Negri was able to fight forward to take seventh in the Prototype class at the finish.

“Just fighting to the finish is not what we want to do,” said Negri. “We don’t want to be battling from the back to the front every time. But it is what it is. We gave our best and drove our hardest and that’s all I can say. We’ve just got to get ready for the next race. The Glen, we always do pretty well here so we came with high expectations. It’s pretty frustrating.”

The race closed with a pair of yellow flag periods, with one final dash to the finish.

“Well, that’s the end of a miserable weekend for us,” said team owner Mike Shank. “We’ll move on. I have to thank Ozz (Negri) and John (Pew) for not stopping, not giving up on this whole process. It’s probably our worst weekend we’ve had, arguably ever in the series. We’ve had it really tough from the beginning. Then we had the problem with the throttle body. We got it un-jammed and it worked after that.  We’ve got about a week back in the shop to regroup before we leave to go up to Canada. Hopefully we’ll get some relief on the BoP; our BoP is so far off, it’s way out of balance right now. So hopefully we’ll get some relief there.”

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will look ahead to the IMSA debut at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on July 13. The team staged a successful test on the track recently and will look to convert that into a strong race outing.

Photo Courtesy: Wes Duenkel