DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Michael Shank Racing will return to Daytona Int’l Speedway for the 2013 season-opening Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series event with a two-car effort as the team targets a repeat victory in the prestigious twice around the clock endurance event.
Michael Shank Racing made its Rolex 24 At Daytona debut in 2004, and has fielded a multi-car campaign in every Rolex 24 event since 2006.
Full season drivers Ozz Negri and John Pew will once again be joined by their 2012 Rolex 24-winning co-drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson in the No. 60 Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype as the fast and experienced group pursues a second consecutive victory.
The defending champions could also be joined by a new face for the 24, as NASCAR pilot Marcos Ambrose is testing with the team this weekend at Daytona.
MSR’s lead pilot Negri suffered a leg injury in off-season training and the team has engaged Ambrose to possibly support the effort based on Negri’s progress back to full health. The team will monitor Negri’s condition, and will make a decision on the final line-up ahead of the race weekend.
The 2012 Rolex 24 saw the team not only score a dramatic win, but the team backed that effort up with a second podium-winning effort in the Michael Shank Racing No. 6 DPG2 Ford-Riley.
2013 will see the team once again look to show strength with both team entries, as Michael Shank Racing will debut its new No. 6 DPG3 Ford-Riley machine at the 24 hour Daytona event with endurance stand-outs Michael Valiante and Chris Cumming as well as open wheel stars Gustavo Yacaman and Jorge Goncalvez, who placed third in last year’s event with Michael Shank Racing.
“I’m very proud of this driver line-up and I think we have another good opportunity to do well – with both of these cars,” offered team owner Mike Shank. “I’m thrilled to welcome back Michael (Valiante) to the team as well as Chris Cumming. They both tested with us in December and they did a great job. We’ll just focus on the same things that were successful for us last year. I want to win every year. To repeat would be an oddity because I think it would be very difficult to do but we have very strong cars. Our drivers know us really well. Almost all of my drivers have been with me for a long time now. We have what we think is the right combination to win the race, we just need to stay out of trouble. We have as good of a shot – or better – than a lot of people.”