Michael Shank Racing will line up on the sixth and ninth rows of the grid for the Mexico City 400k at the Autodromos Hermanos Rodriguez with the team looking to get a solid result from both cars towards the championship title race.
Mark Patterson posted a fast lap time of 1min 23.521secs to score twelfth on the Mexico City grid in the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley that he will share with Oswaldo Negri, although he admitted to being slightly frustrated not to have gone quicker to secure a higher position on the grid.
“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,” Patterson explained. “I love this track, it may be my favourite. 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 in the second MSR entry, but Zogaib put in a solid effort in the qualifying session, 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,” he said. “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.”
With Zogaib knocking such a big chunk of time out of his quickest lap in qualifying, team owner Mike Shank was a happy man after the session and said he was confident that both cars will run well in Saturdays race.
“I am impressed with how much progress Henri has made this weekend,” he said. “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.”