Recognizing the team’s past while also looking forward to its future, Michael Shank Racing is throwing it back.
Beginning at this weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans event at Circuit of the Americas, fans of Michael Shank Racing will see a new, yet familiar, red, white and blue look for the team’s No. 60 Ligier JS P2 Honda Prototype.
The season-ending 2016 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 1st will mark Michael Shank Racing’s 250th prototype start in the IMSA ranks. To celebrate the feat, team partner AERO Advanced Paint Technology produced a throwback livery for the car that echoes the first-ever car Michael Shank Racing entered back in 2004.
“When we realized that we’d be making our 250th prototype start at Road Atlanta, we started brainstorming some ideas about how to recognize it,” said Team Owner Mike Shank.
“We had the idea to have this retro livery and AERO just hit it out of the park. They’ve created some really cool liveries for us, but this one is pretty special.”
The Columbus-based team launched its Prototype effort with a Lexus-powered Doran in the 2004 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The move to endurance racing marked a dramatically different format for the team, which had previously run in open wheel sprint races. But a dramatic run to the podium for drivers Burt Frisselle and Ozz Negri in the team’s second-ever Prototype start was a positive portend of things to come.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve made 250 car starts through the years,” said Shank. “It’s pretty incredible. In our first race, we finished fourth in the Rolex 24 with Kelly Collins, Cort Wagner, Mike Newton, Tom Erdos, and Brent Martini.
“We’ve had so many amazing drivers that have joined us since then, and it’s humbling to look back and reflect on all that we’ve accomplished together.”
Since 2004, Michael Shank Racing has made many fond memories. Having amassed 34 podium finishes and five victories, the most special was winning the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012 with John Pew, Ozz Negri, AJ Allmendinger, and the late Justin Wilson.
The team updated their winning record once again this season with a stout performance at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from John Pew and Ozz Negri to score a victory.
Starting out as a one-car team, Michael Shank Racing began to grow into a full-time two-car program, and occasionally expanded efforts to campaign a third entry.
With a tight turnaround between the Circuit of the Americas and Road Atlanta events, the retro livery will debut in Austin this weekend. The team will also be inviting fans to sign the car on Friday night at Petit Le Mans!