Jerry UltraDork
10/19/16 8:05 a.m.

The annual charity auction of racing memorabilia was last weekend, benefiting SICSA (animals), and one of the items I won was a VIP tour of Michael Shank Racing nearing Columbus OH. Over the years I've won a few shirts, a framed autographed Rolex24 poster, and two different autographed racing gloves, but I really haven't followed their racing.

The VIP tour is the whole facility, not just behind a glass wall like a zoo. It's in the garage, hands-on with cars and talking to drivers and techs. The previous winner said it was 3-4 hours and included lots of swag like real racing jackets, hats, etc... The certificate said I could take a small group and reaching out on Facebook I have many friends interested, both car-guys and non.

Since I've never followed their racing, can anyone enlighten me on their history? Gonna have to figure out how to watch them now, without pay-tv anyway.

DukeOfUndersteer UltimaDork
10/19/16 8:37 a.m.

Eh... Shank has been around for a long time. Oz Negri is one hell of a driver. His co-driver is a gentleman driver who isn't the best in the World. They just won Petit overall a couple weeks ago. Changing platforms to the new NSX GT next year.

Tell Mike Shank that "Mike Sauce says hi!"

Rusted_Busted_Spit GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/19/16 8:44 a.m.

That is very cool. I took my oldest to their open house at the start of the season, the shop is amazing. The team has won the Daytona 24 hours and just won Petit LeMans which is the teams last race with a prototype car, they are moving to the NSX GT car next year. I think they were the first team to use the FORD ecoboost 3.5 V6 in a Daytona prototype after the Gran Am ALMS merger. They have also been to Le Mans at least once.

Since 2015 they have been running a Honda powered Ligier JS P2. They have been consistently fast but have had a run of bad luck.

I started following them because they were an Ohio team and not far from where I live and the P2 car is very cool. I never really got just how small the cockpit of the P cars were until we got to see that car up close and torn down, it was eye opening.

Anyway, if you need someone to go with you I would be more than happy to help out and either way have fun.

Edit: X 2 about Ozz.

Jerry UltraDork
10/19/16 12:44 p.m.

I emailed the prez, he said the week of December 5th is best. Now to see how many friends can make it...

trigun7469 Dork
10/19/16 1:45 p.m.

I am jelly, that is really cool. At one point they were going to go to Indycar, but that fell through. Glad they got the NSX.

stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/20/16 6:46 a.m.

Mike Shank's team history in professional motorsports started out in Atlantics and on to GrandAm/IMSA/ALMS sports cars, with a brief visit to Indycar. He drove mostly open wheel cars before turning to running the team. He has been associated with nearly every major engine supplier in the US racing market. Mike is a great guy and takes his racing seriously. He is very involved in every aspect of his team and has managed to build a really great team in an unlikely area of the country, as far as race teams go (I can only think of two other major series teams in the area).
Have fun on the tour.

jde HalfDork
10/23/16 1:49 p.m.

Hopefully they have another Open House next year. Was busy this year.

Jerry UltraDork
12/27/16 7:27 a.m.

So the 5th got postponed, they had a practice get rescheduled and nothing was in the shop. Rather than look at blank garage flooring, we rescheduled to yesterday.

We got to see both new NSX-GT race cars, and with both front ends and backs opened up. The owner gave myself and two friends a detailed tour of the place, lasted about 1.25 hours. Both cars, lots and LOTS of carbon fiber pieces, coil overs being developed, many many tires and wheels to be used up, lots of detailed looks into the cars guts. I was afraid to take photos, didn't know how hush hush this was. They're the first to race these cars and the spec series is pretty serious.

At the end he gave us all brand new gear that just came out for the crew, not to be sold to the public. A flexfit hat, a beanie, and a very nice looking jacket, all monogrammed with the racing team logo.

The two trailers we saw were pretty spiffy, bigger than my first apartment, and better equipped. He gave the techs the day off after all the hard work they've been doing to get ready for a big test-n-tune in about a week, but there's always that one guy that would rather work than deal with family

Here are the two cars we saw, pretend the front and back are removed so you can see all the goodies:

Definitely worth a 1.5hr drive, and one friend bought my breakfast, the other handed me $10, so it was essentially a $70 donation to animals in need and free swag. Not a bad day at all.

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