Shank could be switching from DP to P2 and Ford to Honda for 2015 season (Update)

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Michael Shank Racing has confirmed its engine partnership with Honda, where it will power the team's new Ligier JS P2 chassis in the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.

The official confirmation came Friday during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis.

Additionally, the team has revealed a new livery, which is actually a reincarnation of a prior orange and black livery run more than five years ago.

Last week, Shank took delivery of the chassis campaigned Stateside by OAK Racing the last two TUDOR Championship races this season.

The switch to the Honda-powered Ligier comes after more than 230 Daytona Prototype starts, and more than 32,000 laps completed since 2004.

"Moving to the Ligier JS P2 should not only be an asset for our TUDOR campaign this year, but it is also a step toward being in a position to compete at Le Mans in 2016," Shank said.

"This is a great package and has already proven itself, not only here in TUDOR, but also in the World Endurance Championship. This is a big move for our team, and I'm really excited about the future."

The engine partnership sees Honda come in to replace Ford, Shank's longtime partner since 2008. Sportscar365

10/02/14 One of the longest-running DP squads could be making a switch to P2 machinery, as Michael Shank Racing is exploring Prototype options for the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.

The Ohio-based organization, which currently fields a Ford Ecoboost-powered Riley DP for Ozz Negri and John Pew, has yet to finalize its plans for next year, but a return to the Prototype class, in whatever type of car, is the team's primary objective.

"I'm trying to stay in Prototype and I'm obviously going to stay with Ford, no matter what, but we don't know how that's going to look like yet," team owner Michael Shank told Sportscar365.

"Whatever makes the budget work is what we'll do. If we can make the budget work with a P2 car, I'm not opposed to it, as long as our Ford relationship stays intact."

Shank, who is completing the first of a three-year factory contract with Ford, said he's looked at all possible P2 chassis options for 2015, including the Ligier JS P2 (pictured above), which debuted last month at Circuit of The Americas.

Should the team go down the P2 route, Shank said it would be fitted with Ford's 3.2-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine.

"I think it's a cool prospect to be on a world stage, essentially," he said. "There's some work that needs to go into that to make it really happen. I think there's something there.

"The P2 car is such a cool piece. It's the latest of everything. I would argue that it's even more current than an IndyCar today. I just don't know if I have the guts to buy one on spec because I'll have to pay for it.". Sportscar365

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