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Pew Crash Puts Shank’s Petit Le Mans Participation in Doubt

Pew crash in night practice puts MSR’s Petit Le Mans race in doubt…

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Heavy rain wreaked havoc with tonight’s 90-minute night practice at Road Atlanta, and has also cast doubt on the participation of the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda in Saturday’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.

John Pew sustained a heavy accident coming through Turn 12, with team principal Shank reporting Pew hydroplaned out of control and causing both left and right side damage. The left side is worse. Pew was OK and back at the transporter about a half hour after the incident.

Shank told Sportscar365 the tub is damaged, and the team will have Elan Motorsports crew survey the damage to see what can be done to repair the car.

An update just before 11 p.m. ET confirmed the car will go to Elan, based in Braselton, to see what can be done to fix the car. The team posted the news in two tweets on Twitter:

“PR – Update: The car is going to go to Elan Huge thanks to everyone at Elan & DeltaWing & everyone who has jumped on to help. #nevergiveup

“PR – also a big thanks to @Onroak for building a strong Ligier.”

As there are no remaining Ligier chassis in the U.S. – there is one in France available – if this car cannot be repaired, the car driven by Pew, Ozz Negri and Matt McMurry would be withdrawn from the race.

Incidentally, this is the same chassis damaged last year when the DeltaWing contacted Gustavo Yacaman, in what was an OAK Racing entry, heading into Turn 1.

There were two other red flags in the session. Jeff Segal stopped on course in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, but continued to the pits after the red flag. The team reported an electrical issue that was fixed by reseting the system.

The other red flew for Sylvain Tremblay in the No. 70 Mazda SKYACTIV Diesel Prototype, following a quick spin and continuation.

In the session, Jordan Taylor led overall in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP at 1:29.369.

Other class leaders were Renger van der Zande for Starworks Motorsport, which saw its No. 8 Oreca FLM09 back on track after missing second practice, Wolf Henzler in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR in GT Le Mans and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R.

RESULTS: Practice 3

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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