BOGOTA, Colombia — Michael Shank Racing has signed Colombian Gustavo Yacaman and Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia to co-drive the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley for the remaining 11 events in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season.
Pizzonia and Yacaman will utilize the same Ford-Riley DPG3 combination as the sister No. 60 Michael Shank Racing effort from John Pew and Ozz Negri.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here, making this announcement with Gustavo and Antonio,” said Shank. “We’ve been working for a long time to be back to a two-car effort and while there were a lot of good options for us, the biggest thing was to know that we’d be coming to each race with an opportunity to be successful. I really believe that with these two drivers, we’ve got the tools we need to be competitive, and hopefully this will be a strong platform for us to build on and prepare for 2014 and beyond.”
Yacaman took third in the 2012 Indy Lights Championship after taking two wins (Detroit, Toronto) and scoring pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He started the 2012 season with a debut outing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, joining Michael Shank Racing for an impressive run to the podium in his first-ever appearance in the huge endurance challenge.
The young (22 years old) racer, who is supported by Crepes & Waffles, Lubricantes Coexito, Tuvacol, Biomax, Cine Colombia, Protección, Celsia, Argos, & Mac and Marca Colombia, saw his season-long efforts last year earn him the honor of “Colombian Race Driver of the Year” by the Colombian Federation of Motorsports.
“This is a very exciting day for me and my career, to be joining Mike Shank and looking forward to a full season in the Rolex Series,” said Yacaman. “I know how good this team is, and the racing with these Daytona Prototypes is very competitive and very close so it is something that all the drivers really enjoy. Having a co-driver like Antonio is going to be great — he has a lot of experience and even though he will be new to the Prototypes, I think we will be a strong combination.”
Pizzonia raced his way up the European open-wheel ladder to compete in Formula One with Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Jaguar F-1. The ace has been a regular in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship, a highly competitive category in his home country.
“I am very excited to be joining Michael Shank Racing and to have the opportunity to compete in the Rolex Series,” said Pizzonia. “The racing is very close and competitive, and Mike Shank’s team has a lot of experience with the Daytona Prototypes. I am looking forward to racing with Gustavo and quickly learning all the tracks and getting used to racing in America.”