Michael Shank Racing announced Thursday that Tim Keene will join the organization in the newly formed General Manager position, ending his multi-year stint as team manager at Panoz DeltaWing Racing.
The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will see the Ohio-based team transition from the prototype ranks to the GTD class with a two-car program for Acura Motorsports.
Keene has a tremendous amount of experience in the industry and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Michael Shank Racing team.
Before entering the world of sports car racing, Keene spent a considerable amount of time in open-wheel racing. He began as a truck driver and fueler in 1994 and went on to become the lead mechanic at Chip Ganassi Racing for championship-winning drivers Alex Zanardi, Jimmy Vasser, and Juan Pablo Montoya.
In 2004, Keene took over Chip Ganassi Racing’s sports car program and led the group to 40 victories, seven championships and five Rolex 24 At Daytona victories.
“Our partnership in 2017 with Acura requires the best people in the business,” said Michael Shank Racing Team Owner Mike Shank. “Tim Keene brings a level of experience in a top role that we have never had before.
“Tim will be able to advance our preparation and allow me to be able to continue expanding our relationships with Honda/Acura as well as our long term planning and marketing efforts.”
“I’ve always held Mike Shank in very high regard, as his passion for racing is without question, and his team is always considered a threat come race day,” said Keene. “When Mike approached me about the possibility of working together on the new Acura NSX project, it was his excitement that led me to this decision.
“I know we are both looking forward to the challenges ahead, and I’m honored to be a part of a program that will immediately be challenging for wins. There’s a very formidable task ahead and I’m ready to hit the ground running.
“With that said, I want to say thank you to Don Panoz for everything he has done for me the past couple of years, as he and everyone that’s part of the DeltaWing Racing Team will always have a fan in me, and I wish them all the best moving forward.”
The move sees Keene stepping away from his most recent effort as the team manager for the DeltaWing campaign, which gained both reliability and speed under his guidance.
“We would like to thank Tim for all the help, advice, and leadership he has given to us these last two years,” said Dr. Don Panoz, DeltaWing Managing Partner & Founder of the ALMS.
“We wish him well in his new role at Michael Shank Racing and the Acura NSX Team, and appreciate that they have given him the opportunity to further his racing career.”
Michael Shank Racing will begin testing the Acura NSX in the coming weeks in preparation for the 2017 WeatherTech Championship season.