Felipe Nasr, in has been announced, will race with Michael Shank Racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month.
Following an impressive showing in the Roar Before the 24 test session Nasr will drive the no.6 Riley/Ford entered by Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian.
“Testing with MSR has been a great experience so far and now I'm really looking forward to joining them for the race. The 3 other drivers are looking really good right now, we are all giving everything we have to be up at the front,” said Nasr. “It's a pleasure to be with Michael Shank Racing – it's a great team to be part of. To be taking part in the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 with them is an honour.”
The Brazilian, who won the 2011 British Formula Three Championship will complete a four man team where two other drivers will be making their first appearance in the Rolex 24. Gustavo Yacaman and Jorge Goncalves both – like Nasr have made their way through open-wheel series, though in America.
Venezuelan Yacaman and Colombian native Goncalves have both raced in the Indy Lights championship – effectively a tier below the IZOD Indycar Series – finishing fourth and fifth in the 2011 standings respectively in a season when Yacaman clinched victory around the new Baltimore street circuit.
The fourth man of the team brings considerably more Grand-Am experience. Michael McDowall made his Daytona Prototype in 2004, taking his first win a year later.
Though in the intervening years McDowall has concentrated his efforts in NASCAR he has made five appearances in the Rolex 24, scoring top ten results in all but one of the events. The upcoming Rolex 24 (January 28-29) however, will be his first in a Riley chassis since his maiden Grand-Am win.
All four drivers tested the car during the three day Roar Before The 24 test at Daytona International Speedway. They will form a two car Michael Shank Racing team for the race. Shank will also enter the no.60 with drivers including Ozz Negri, who acted as Nasr's mentor during Daytona testing in December.
“We are very excited about the line-ups we have with both cars,” said Mike Shank. “Last year, we ran three cars and all three finished the race in the top ten, and one was just short of being on the podium. We learned a lot, and we want to put everything into a two-car effort. The guys have impressed me in testing, and if we can stay out of trouble and on the right side of the pit wall, I think we might surprise some folks with how strong this car could be.”