Michael Shank Racing Heads North To Montreal
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(Columbus, OH) 26 August- Michael Shank Racing will return to the Circuit Gilles-Villenueve in Montreal this weekend for round ten of the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series Championship as the series travels north to Canada.



After the team was once again quick in the opening sessions of the weekend at Watkins Glen, both Daytona Prototype entries suffered challenging opening race segments before running hard to the finish. Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri (No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley) scored ninth at the checkered flag as John Pew and Michael Valiante (No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley) finished in eleventh.



The two-hour Saturday shoot-out in Montreal will see the Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype and GT Classes once again sharing the pavement along the 2.708-mile, 15-turn layout as part of the NASCAR Nationwide Series' annual visit to the facility. The circuit, which played host to Formula One's North American visits for several years, is now used but once a year so will likely change rapidly through the weekend as the rubber hits the pavement.



"The Montreal race is always really enjoyable-the fans are very enthusiastic and it's just a great event to have on the Rolex schedule," said team owner Mike Shank. "Given how we started the race, the Glen was a huge comeback for the whole team and we just want to keep that momentum going this weekend. It could have been a lot worse points-wise, so we will just try to make the most of the chances we have left this season and make a strong push here to close out the year."



The team has a history at the facility that stretches back to the 1990's, when team owner Shank scored a Formula Atlantic C2 victory at the circuit as a driver on his way to winning the Championship. All four Michael Shank Racing drivers have experienced the track from behind the wheel of formula car machinery, with Valiante also having a NASCAR Nationwide race start to his credit on the track (2007).



The race is the second consecutive two hour sprint event on the Rolex calendar, and will put even more pressure on the engineers as it is also the second straight race to not feature a race-day warm-up session, making the seven sessions (including qualifying) on Friday all the more vital to locking in a good race-day set up.



Similar to the Rolex Series outing at Daytona for the one-day Brumos 250 in July, the compressed schedule in Montreal also ups the pressure on the drivers, as any misstep on track will cost precious track time for the team. And the specter of rain will only intensify that prospect, particularly on a track layout that features over a mile distance between pit lane and the Rolex Sports Car Series paddock for crews to cover for any necessary parts or supplies.
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