Michael Shank Racing announced its 2018 season plans which include a dual campaign in the Verizon IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The team made its IndyCar debut in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with driver Jack Harvey. For 2018 there will be a select schedule of IndyCar events with Harvey behind the wheel. As part of a multi-race program with commercial sponsors SiriusXM and AutoNation, the race program will utilize a technical partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM). The Michael Shank Racing program with Harvey will be Honda powered and will include outings at St. Petersburg, Long Beach, the Indianapolis 500 and Sonoma Raceway.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for this to come together and for everything to be moving forward,” said Harvey. “I had a very positive experience racing for Mike Shank in the Indianapolis 500, and it was great to build on that with SPM in the last two races of the year. Now to be racing for Mike and to also have the support of SPM for this program, it is the best of both worlds for me. I want to do as well as we possibly can for AutoNation and SiriusXM, and I cannot wait for St. Pete to get here.”
In addition to the commercial program with SiriusXM and AutoNation, Michael Shank Racing will also continue its long-running partnerships with Curb Records, CAP and Associates, Rocky Fork Company, and Roberts Service Group in 2018.
“I’m so happy to have everything come together and to be able to make this announcement—there was a ton of work that went into just getting to this point, and of course it is just the start,” said Shank. “This is a very big deal— for me and my wife Mary Beth, and for my race team. We are really excited to have Jack (Harvey) back with us, and very focused on making the most of this multi-year program. It is a big undertaking but I’ve been working on this nonstop, every day for months to have everything in place for us to be able to go out and build a competitive program.”
The team will also transition to a customer based operation from the factory Acura team for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with one full time GTD class entry and a second campaign that will contest the IMSA endurance championship as well as potentially making additional IMSA race outings.
Justin Marks and Lawson Aschenbach will share the full-season driving duties in the No.93 Acura NSX GT3. The duo will be joined by Mario Farnbacher for the endurance events in 2018, while AJ Allmendinger will return to the team for the 2018 Rolex 24 event in the No.93 Acura NSX GT3.
The team will also manage a second Acura NSX GT3 entry for the 2018 IMSA Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. Katherine Legge will co-drive with Alvaro Parente in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Watkins Glen Six Hour, and Petit Le Mans. The team will announce the full lineup in the new year.
“We learned so much with this program last year and I was very proud to represent Acura and bring home a pair of wins with the NSX in its first season,” said Shank. “The NSX is phenomenal and we want to build on what we’ve learned so far. I’m very pleased to have two big talents in Justin (Marks) and Lawson (Aschenbach) come on board—their records speak for themselves. Having the second entry for the long races and maybe some additional events will also be a boost for the program, between what Katherine (Legge) already knows about this car from last year and having a guy like Alvaro (Parente) join us, that will be a second bullet for us in the long races. And people are going to love how these cars are going to look.”
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