Ian James Gets A Full-Time DP Ride
Michael Shank Racing took an overdue maiden win at the final Rolex Series race of 2006, way back at the start of September: Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson won at Miller Motorsports Park, in the #60 Riley Lexus (photo below).

Mike Shank has just announced a second confirmed entry for 2007 - Henri Zogaib and Ian James will drive the #6, Lexus-powered MSR Riley entry, which typically raced this season with Mike Borkowski / Paul Mears at the wheel. Negri / Patterson will continue to race #60.

Zogaib is a Florida-based entrepreneur with four career starts in the Daytona Prototypes, and a best finish of tenth. He races as a “passionate pursuit”, and has purchased the Riley from Paul Mears Jr. He’s sensibly signed up Ian James as his partner.

“Mike Shank’s record speaks for itself and I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Zogaib. “I think we are going to surprise some people. Mike and his team have shown that even though the Rolex Series is very competitive, it’s still possible to win with a ‘pro-am’ combination like Ian and myself.”

That’s a reference to the Miller win nearly two months ago.

“I was following in the footsteps of Mark Patterson in the formula cars, but had to take some time away from racing to focus on business, so now I’m a little behind him,” said Zogaib. “But I know that this team is going to help me be competitive and I am really confident about working with Lexus and TRD.”

Zogaib, James, Nastasi and Gleason drove a Blackforest Crawford at the Rolex 24 this year, but were the first retirement. H
enri Zogaib credits Ian James as being instrumental in his progress as a driver.

“Mike runs a really top-notch operation and has shown that the pro-am situation can be well managed,” said the Englishman. “The opportunity to work with Lexus again is another big draw for me. The Daytona Prototype class is the last thing in Grand Am for me to take on and to do so with a proper effort behind me is something I’m very excited about. This is a very well-drilled team - everyone knows what they are doing and is on top of their game.”

James is pictured on the podium at Sebring in 2005, after winning the LMP2 Class with Jeff Bucknum and Chris McMurry. He also won that class in 2004. James was in the same Miracle Courage (as in '05) when it finished third at Le Mans this year.

MSR is gearing up to move to a new custom-built shop immediately after returning from the Rolex Series Daytona test in early November.

“This is exciting for the team to continue with the 6 car with a package that we know is very capable,” said Mike Shank. “We know what we have to do to be competitive and know that we have the package we need to win races.”

Zogaib and James will be getting their first taste of the Riley at the Daytona test (November 6-7). Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will continue to race the #60 car: they finished second in the 2006 Rolex 24, driving with Justin Wilson and A.J. Allmendinger.

 

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