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Michael Shank Racing ready to go in Mexico
Michael Shank Racing will line up on the sixth and ninth rows for Saturday’s Mexico City 400k at the Autodromos Hermanos Rodriguez for round two of the Rolex Sports Car Series season. The Columbus, Ohio-based team is looking forward to getting another good run out of the two team Lexus/Riley entries with a keen eye towards the season-long championship battle.
Mark Patterson posted a fast lap time of 1:23.521-seconds on the 2.5-mile circuit to score twelfth on the Mexico City grid. The time was less than one second off the previous lap record at the high-altitude facility. Patterson set even faster times in the morning practice session, but the changing conditions prevented him from replicating his morning form.
“We had a local driver (Rod MacLeod, who drove with MSR in the 2006 Phoenix round) give us some insight on how the track would change and he was spot-on with his prediction,” said Patterson. “I love this track, it may be my favorite. I attacked like a demon the entire session, but just couldn’t get back down to the times we were setting this morning. But this car is fantastic and we should be looking good tomorrow.”
The Mexico City visit is the first for both Henri Zogaib and co-driver Ian James, but Zogaib proved adroit in the qualifying, shaving some four seconds off his time from Thursday’s practice.
“We went through the data yesterday, and I set a goal of taking four seconds off my time today and I’m glad to have done that in qualifying, but I’m still frustrated with where we are yet,” said Zogaib. “My confidence continues to grow in the car and hopefully we can get a good start and get some luck with the timing on the yellows so I can turn the car over to Ian to make a strong run to the finish.”
The Rolex field boasts thirty-eight entries for the Mexico City round, the largest yet in the Series’ history.  The Rolex Series has historically engaged a large and passionate crowd, and everyone in the Rolex paddock is looking forward to putting on another good show on Saturday.
“I am impressed with how much progress Henri has made this weekend,” said team owner Mike Shank. “This is his first time here but he’s done a great job learning this track. Mark put in another great qualifying as well and I think we are positioned to do well with both cars tomorrow. The Lexus guys have done a great job again this weekend, and we are pretty confident about the race tomorrow.”
There will be a twenty-minute practice session on Saturday morning, with the race slated for a 3:15 PM local time green flag.
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