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Shank Returns to Track; Multiple Teams Complete Le Mans Shakedown

John Pew turns laps in rebuilt Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda…

Photo: Claude Foubert/Endurance-Info

Photo: Claude Foubert/Endurance-Info

Michael Shank Racing’s Ligier JS P2 Honda has returned to action following a rebuild after its accident in Sunday’s official test day at Le Mans.

John Pew turned laps in the LMP2 contender on Tuesday, as part of an open test for all 24 Hours of Le Mans competitors on the Bugatti circuit. It marked the first laps since the unidentified mechanical failure that sent Ozz Negri hard into the barriers in the closing moments of the test.

Negri escaped injury in the accident, although the car sustained considerable damage, but was repairable on-site. It fired up for the first time Monday evening, with Pew taking to the track by 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

“This was another outstanding effort from my guys,” said Mike Shank. “Some of us had just got back from Detroit when this happened, but everyone rallied to do what they could to keep moving the ball forward, and we’ve had great support from the Onroak guys.

“We were fortunate not only to have Ozz jump out of the car okay, but also to look at the bright side, a lot of what we had to replace from the crash were things we had already planned on replacing for the race.

“So it added more work for us, but we were able to handle it without having to go all night or anything like that.”

In addition to Shank, cars from Audi Sport Team Joest, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Porsche Team, Manor, Signatech-Alpine, RGR Sport by Morand, Tequila Patron ESM, Rebellion Racing and Panis-Barthez Racing all took to the 10-turn, 2.655-mile circuit, largely for systems checks.

The next on-track activity at Le Mans is Free Practice, which gets underway on Wed. June 15, followed by three sessions of qualifying, all held on the full 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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