Two of the Buckeye State's biggest motorsports names were united at the weekend as Graham Rahal tested a Michael Shank Racing Daytona Prototype at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The test was part of a busy weekend for Rahal, who graduated from New Albany High School on Sunday and is looking to increase his involvement in the Rolex Sports Car Series with selected outings this season.
“Everything went really well,” the teenager said, “The goal was to just get in the car and get a feel for it, but we were actually pretty quick, so it felt good. The team has a experienced engineering staff and the car was really well prepared so we made a good bit of progress. I was glad Mike [Shank] gave me the opportunity to test and, hopefully, things will work out so I get a chance to race with them later this season.”
Rahal wasn't the only driver in action for the team, as full-season pilots John Pew, Ian James, Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri all got down to business in the two-team Lexus-Riley combinations. Patterson and Negri scored a podium in the last round of Rolex Sports Car Series racing at Laguna Seca with a strong third place showing, and Shank is hopeful of more when the team returns home later this season.
“Even though it is our home track, Mid-Ohio has not always been our best from a performance point of view, so we came out here looking to change that for when we come back to race later this month,” the team boss said, “Graham did a good job for us and, hopefully, we will be in better shape when we come back to race with the new data we got.”