Michael Shank Racing Takes Top Ten in Montreal
Page: 1  2  Links
(Montreal, QUE-) 28 August 09- The outcome of Saturday's Montreal 200 seemed to change with every sweep of the Doppler radar as Michael Shank Racing battled with the field as well as the weather on Saturday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for round ten of the Rolex Sports Car Series championship.

The team emerged from the rainy event with a top ten finish as John Pew and Michael Valiante finished eighth overall as the sister Daytona Prototype of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri fought home to a thirteenth place class result.

The two-hour sprint event was a challenge for the engineers and drivers alike, as the weather moved back and forth between rainy and dry conditions from the time the cars lined up on the grid ahead of the race to after the checkered flag flew.

"It was a tough day all around," said team owner Mike Shank. "The (race winning) 10 car stopped to pit for rain tires one lap later than we did, and that turned out to be all the difference. It was just impossible to know what was going to happen with the weather even though we had the radar up because it wouldn't make up its mind. We had good pit stops all day long, but just didn't have any luck with the weather. It was disappointing, but now we'll look ahead to being part of the test at Indianapolis next week. "

At the green flag, Patterson started from seventh on the grid, and moved up to sixth but a lap one spin set him back before he emerged from GT traffic to keep moving forward.

Pew's race also had a challenging start, as his wet-weather tires were ideal for the rainy conditions at the green flag, but the following laps saw the track dry out and put the pressure on the rear rubber and made for a challenging opening segment in the No. 6.

"Just some bad luck with the tire choices for us today," lamented Pew, who fortunately was able to avoid teammate Patterson's spin on the first lap. "My stint was really difficult because the wet tires had gone so far off that it was almost as if something was broken at the back of the car. It was very hard to drive, even on the straights so I had to bring it in."

Valiante took the controls from deep in the pack, and was fighting his way forward when another car moved aside under braking, causing contact that the Canadian was deemed to be responsible for as he had to return to the pits for a stop and go penalty. But he charged back and raced his way back on to the lead lap for the final segments of race. After moving up as high as second in the running order, one final pit stop for rain tires to close out the race saw him set another round of fast laps and cross the line in eighth.
  Next Page >>