IMSA: Honda to power Michael Shank Racing’s P2 prototype

1 Comment

Michael Shank Racing’s new Ligier JS P2 prototype now has an engine to go with it.

MSR confirmed today at the ongoing Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis that it had entered an engine partnership with Honda.

The team, featuring drivers Ozz Negri and John Pew, is flipping to the P2 equipment for the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship after more than 230 starts with the Daytona Prototype chassis. Additionally, with Honda now on board, MSR is also making a power switch after running Ford engines for several years.

“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 in a statement.

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

“We’re very much looking forward to our new partnership with Michael Shank Racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship,” said Allen Miller, prototype project leader for Honda Performance Development.

“Michael Shank Racing has established itself as one of the premier teams in American endurance racing, and we believe their switch to an LMP2 chassis and Honda turbocharged V6 engine positions them well for 2015 and the seasons to come.”

MSR’s tandem of Negri and Pew finished seventh in the Prototype standings last year with just one podium finish, a runner-up late in the year at Road America.

But that was then, and the team’s already getting after it in regards to 2015. MSR’s Twitter account showed off a newly assembled Ligier this afternoon:

Additional MSR driver announcements for the longer 2015 endurance rounds will be announced in the coming weeks.

Helio Castroneves will replace ailing Oliver Askew for IndyCar at IMS

Helio Castroneves replacing Askew
James Black/IndyCar
Leave a comment

Helio Castroneves will return to the NTT IndyCar Series next weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, replacing Arrow McLaren SP driver Oliver Askew in the No. 7 Dallara- Chevrolet.

The team announced in a Thursday release that Askew wasn’t cleared by the IndyCar medical team after reporting “a balance and coordination issue” after the Sept. 12-13 race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer reported that Askew has been experiencing the concussion-like symptoms since his Aug. 23 wreck in the Indy 500.

Askew was placed in IndyCar’s Return to Racing Protocol. The rookie has endured an up-and-down season, suffering another hard crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the July 4 race on the road course. He also finished third and sixth on back-to-back races at Iowa Speedway in July.

“This was an incredibly tough call but I have to follow the advice of the INDYCAR Medical Team and my doctors,” Askew said in the release. “My priority right now is focusing on my health. Despite not being in the car, I will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Harvest GP, giving whatever insight and support to Arrow McLaren SP that I can.”

Castroneves will be driving this weekend at Mid-Ohio for Team Penske in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner has said he actively is seeking a ride for the 2021 season in IndyCar or IMSA with the demise of Penske’s DPi program as Acura switches to new teams next year.

Here’s the release from Arrow McLaren SP:

Arrow McLaren SP driver Oliver Askew will withdraw from the INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix, after being declared not fit to drive by the INDYCAR Medical Team.

Following the INDYCAR race at Mid-Ohio, Oliver reported a balance and coordination issue, which triggered an examination from the INDYCAR Medical Team. As a result, Oliver is not medically cleared to race and is subject to INDYCAR’s Return to Racing Protocol.

“This was an incredibly tough call but I have to follow the advice of the INDYCAR Medical Team and my doctors. My priority right now is focusing on my health,” Askew said. “Despite not being in the car, I will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Harvest GP, giving whatever insight and support to Arrow McLaren SP that I can.”

Askew will be replaced in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet by Helio Castroneves for the upcoming doubleheader Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

“The welfare of Oliver, our team members and fellow competitors is paramount,” said Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt.

“We therefore support Oliver and the decision of INDYCAR. Withdrawing to focus on his health and recovery is the right thing to do.”

Helio will join Pato O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, to complete the team’s driver lineup in Indianapolis.

“First and foremost, we wish Oliver the best and that he is able to take time to recover,” said Helio. “I look forward to getting back on track and helping to build on the great progress that Arrow McLaren SP has made this year.”