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Shank Exploring 2017 Options; Seeks Second Car in 2016

Michael Shank hopeful of second 2016 car, while working on 2017 plans…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

As seems to be the case for all Prototype teams in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, figuring out the next round of equipment beyond 2016 is something that also affects Michael Shank and his eponymous team.

Shank was the first of the previous GRAND-AM Rolex Series team owners to commit to an LMP2 chassis, switching from a Daytona Prototype, in the TUDOR Championship this season.

But while the team will continue with its Ligier JS P2 Honda for the second of its two-year run in 2016, Shank will be in search of a new car for 2017.

“To be honest with you, I have no idea,” Shank told Sportscar365 about the team’s 2017 car plans.

“For me, we never planned to carry this car past ’16, grandfather or no grandfather. We planned on buying what suits our needs at the time, whatever that may be, factory or not.

“I don’t know ’17 right now. But this time next year, we better have a good idea.”

While Shank’s 2017 car choice is uncertain, and while a next generation Onroak Automotive chassis would certainly be a logical contender, he is hopeful of acquiring a second car for next year for selected races.

“I definitely would love to try to do a second car,” Shank said. “It’s a tricky wicket to get one, to have a car, but we need to be able to lease something. We don’t want to buy one.”

Shank did note the importance of switching to a P2 when he did. John Pew has noted throughout the year how it’s been an easier car for him to drive, and along with Ozz Negri the two have been fairly consistent this season.

Despite not having a win, Shank’s team has finished second through fourth in all but one of the six sprint races this year. It’s been the endurance races, incidentally, where the finishes have suffered.

“This little car is an awesome piece of machinery. I’m so glad we did this deal,” Shank said.

“It’s not easy racing P2s against DP. But it’s such a great car to drive.

“The car is such a good little car. It saved my business overall. It really worked out exactly how we wanted it to.”

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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