Michael Shank Racing has remained busy throughout the three weeks since Montreal including staging a test at Putnam Park just outside of Indianapolis last week. Negri was on hand to coach as Rodin Younessi took his first laps in a Daytona Prototype.
"Racing at Laguna just makes the drivers smile," said Negri, whose daughter Ana will be riding in the 2nd Annual Camp Boggy Creek Challenge Ride on Saturday (For more info visit: http://www.cbcchallengeride.kintera.org/faf/help/helpEventInfo.asp?ievent=1020983&lis=1&kntae1020983=23F027D78A4049B0A746AEE29F98D7BD). "We don't know how the Rileys will be compared to the Corvettes but we've been working and working on this car, and it's showed in the races. We've been in the lead or top three late in every race, but something has happened. But that's racing. I'm very excited about being back at Laguna Seca and with the news of GRAND-AM and ALMS, this is a very exciting time for everyone in the sport."
The Sports Car Merger announcement came as the team was preparing for the trip out west, and the news has the entire sport buzzing.
"This is an incredible development, and my hat is off to Jim France and Don Panoz for coming together to create a single sports car racing organization here in North America," said Mike Shank, whose team won the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona. "I can not tell you how excited I am not only for my organization, but for the sport in general. Obviously, there are a lot of questions to be answered about the schedule, the equipment, and the technical regulations. As a team owner, these are very important questions to be resolved. But there is always work to be done in racing, and just knowing that this sport is positioned for the future gives us a very positive outlook as we move forward."
The Continental Tire Sports Car Festival weekend kicks off with a promoter test day on Thursday followed by official practice on Friday. Saturday will feature a morning practice and a 15-minute qualifying session beginning at 2:25 PM (ET). A final 20-minute practice will be held Sunday at 11:40 AM (ET) ahead of the 2.75-hour Continental Tire Sports Car Festival race at 3:00 PM (ET).