April 10, 2014 — official release – Brian Cleary/bcpix.com photo — PATASKALA, OH — After staging the longest races of the year, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will make a significant change in both scene and format this weekend as everything moves to a sprint mindset for Saturday’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on the streets of Long Beach, California.
Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will travel over 2,000 miles across the country, returning to race on the fabled street circuit for the first time since 2006.
John Pew and Ozz Negri will pilot the No. 60 Ford Ecoboost/Riley which displays a fresh new livery from AERO Paint for Round 3 of the championship. Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian is pleased to once again welcome AERO, Curb Records, Roberts Service Group, and CRC Chemicals on board the No. 60 machine for the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase event.
The 1.968-mile temporary street course plays host to IndyCar’s 40th Long Beach Grand Prix this year in conjunction with the TUDOR Championship event, which is set to see two classes contest the tight confines of the 11-turn layout. The prototype machines along with the GTLM cars will take to the track for the 100-minute sprint race.
The team has a history at the track that stretches back to the Toyota Atlantic days. The visit to Long Beach comes eight years after Michael Shank Racing last raced at the street circuit as part of the GRAND-AM event in 2006. The team scored two top-10 finishes in the race, with Negri and co-driver Mark Patterson leading the Shank effort with a run to fifth place.
After opening the 2014 championship with two long endurance races, new strategies will come into play for every team with just 100-minutes of racing on Saturday compared to 12 hours at Sebring and 24 hours at Daytona.
“You couldn’t pick a more different kind of race, going from the 12 and 24 hours at Sebring and Daytona to this race on Saturday, where everything will play out in just 100 minutes,” said team owner Mike Shank. “It kind of reminds me of our sprint races in Atlantics, and I think the intensity will be exciting for the fans. Having Long Beach back on our schedule is something we’ve all been wanting for a long time and hopefully we can put on a good show for everyone.”
The race weekend gets off to an early start on Friday with practice from 7:40 AM – 9:40 AM (PST) on Friday. A second practice session takes place at 5:05 PM (PST) Friday evening just ahead of qualifying at 6:05 PM (PST).
The Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase is set to take the green flag at 3:10 PM (PST) on Saturday. The race will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 3:00 PM (PST). Live timing and scoring can be found at scoring.imsa.com.