Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will take to the streets of Long Beach, California for a 100-minute sprint race on Saturday as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stages the third round of its 2016 season.
John Pew, who shares the No. 60 Honda-powered Ligier with Ozz Negri, set a time of 1:17.513-seconds during Friday evening’s qualifying session to secure a spot on the fourth row of the grid. He will open the race before handing the car over to Negri.
The 15-minute qualifying session was red flagged for a Daytona Prototype that had spun on track, which allowed just one attempt at a flying lap for Pew. In fact, the incident that caused the red flag occurred directly in front of the No. 60 Honda-Ligier with Team Owner Mike Shank calling it over the radio and Pew taking evasive action to avoid contact.
“I’m glad I got the heads up from Mike (Shank) that the (No. 90) car was spun there because that was pretty close,” said Pew. “Our Honda Ligier improved from the last practice to the qualifying session. The WeatherTech Series has had very little track time this weekend and that red flag didn’t help us, it ruined the rhythm. This car takes a little bit longer for the tires to come up to temperature and pressure so when we came to pit lane during the red flag, the temps had to come back up once we got going again so they were not quite up where we needed them to be on that one flying lap I had. But Dale (Wise) our engineer and Ozz (Negri) together have made the car a lot better. I think it could be a good racecar tomorrow.”
“The car is just getting better, and better, and better,” echoed Team Owner Mike Shank. “It’s a shame John (Pew) didn’t have the time to get another lap in because I really think he would have been down in into the 1:16-second (laptime) range. I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made today.”
The BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix of Long Beach is set to go green at 4:05 PM local time (7:05 PM ET). LIVE Coverage will begin at 7:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 2.
A replay of the race will air on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, April 17 at 12:30 PM ET.