Negri puts Shank P2 car on pole

January 22, 2015

Negri puts Shank P2 car on pole

January 22, 2015


In last year’s debut of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the former P2 cars from the American Le Mans Series struggled to match the straight line speed of the Daytona Prototypes.

12 months and it is a different story. The times are now close – very close – but the first team to switch from a Daytona Prototype to the Le Mans-style P2 machines has set the pace today – Michael Shank Racing.

Oswaldo Negri Jr set the pace all day today in both practice sessions as well as qualifying. The HPD-powered Ligier chassis recorded the fastest time of 1:39.194 – just 1/10th of a second faster than Scott Dixon aboard the first of the two Ford-powered Ganassi entries.

Scott Pruett was a mere .007 of a second behind Dixon.

“It’s never bad when you’re on pole position,” Negri Jr. said.

“We worked pretty hard, we knew we had a good package. The combination with the Ligier chassis and the Honda engine has been incredible. We’ve been working really closely with the Honda engineers and the Onroak team.

“Everything went well and I knew the DPs were going to be close. With the cooler temperature, I took up everything the car had. The pole position is bragging rights for a 24 hour race, but the real deal is the top step tomorrow.

“After the three day test, we knew we had a shot at it. We worked hard through this weekend, we improved on the areas we needed to, and it showed. We got faster and faster through practice and in qualifying. I was expecting to be up front, but I’m only a small part of it. I have a great team, a great chassis, engine, and tires.

“Qualifying you take absolutely everything you can. I had a few moments in the bus stops I really thought we might not even have a car for Saturday. But for the race, you just have to play it by ear and dance according to the music and just try to dance a little bit faster than everyone else.

“It’s a total different car to drive, from the seating position, to the brake travel and release. I still think we have more understeer in the car than I like too, and so on. We will be learning, we just got the car and we did two test sessions.”

Turbo-charged cars filled the top three spots in qualifying. Defending race champions Action Express Racing were fourth fastest ahead of the DeltaWing.

Pole position in the PC class went to Johnny Mowlem in the BAR1 entry.

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