Sunday, July 12, 2015
Circuit: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (2.459-mile road course), Bowmanville, Ont., Canada
2014 Winner: Gustavo Yacaman / Olivier Pla (OAK Racing Morgan Nissan)
Weather: Mostly sunny, warm, humid, 87 degrees F
Honda, Michael Shank Racing Finish Third in Canada
Honda-powered team scores third podium finish of 2015
Second podium result in last three races
Driver Ozz Negri posts fastest race lap
Honda-powered Michael Shank Racing continued to demonstrate strong form in the second half of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, finishing third on Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. It marked the third podium result of the year for the Shank team, drivers Oswaldo “Ozz” Negri and John Pew and their Ligier JS P2 Honda, and the second in the last three races.
Pew, who qualified the Ligier Honda sixth for today’s two-hour, 40-minute contest, took the opening stint and moved up to fifth prior to handing driving duties off to Negri at the first scheduled pit stop. The caution flag waved just after the stop, and the resulting shuffle saw Negri move up to third as the race went back to green-flag conditions.
The Ligier Honda picked up one more position after the Ganassi Racing Riley Ford was called in to serve a penalty for a pit infraction, and Negri went on to set the fastest race lap as he chased the leading Corvette Prototype of Dane Cameron.
But shortly after the one-hour mark, the power-steering unit aboard the Shank machine failed, forcing Negri to deal with both increased steering loads and high temperatures inside the cockpit on a warm, humid race day. However, Negri was able to persevere during the final 90 minutes, and come out on top of a three-way battle for third in the closing laps. Following the race, Negri was briefly treated for dehydration in the infield care center, but was soon released.
The Ligier chassis fielded by MSR is powered by a production-based 2.8-liter Honda HR28TT V6 engine, developed for competition by HPD from the Honda “J35” series of passenger vehicle V6 engines, with improvements including twin turbochargers. Key production-based components include the block and cylinder heads, direct-injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors and fasteners. The engine even features a stock Honda oil filter.
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship now takes a couple of weeks off before resuming August 7-9 with the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Michael Shank (team owner) on today’s race: “First, let me say how proud I am of this team today. John [Pew] put us in a position to run the strategy we wanted to win the race, and the team executed everything exactly as planned. It was our day until the power steering overheated and failed. Ozz [Negri] is Superman! The job he did today is one of the coolest things I have ever seen and he deserves all the credit. He’s just a complete stud! Our day is coming very soon, I promise. I can’t thank Honda, Honda Performance Development and [chassis builder] Onroak Automotive enough. We will get the car fixed and be ready for [the next race at] Road America.”