Valiante Steps In For Injured Negri At MSR

Valiante takes the second seat in the #60 alongside John Pew (Photo Credit: Rolex/Stephan Cooper)

Ozz Negri will miss the next two rounds of the Rolex Series after his recovery from a leg injury suffered a setback, with Michael Valiante filling the empty seat in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley

Negri has made 113 Sports Car Series starts, including the first ever race to feature Daytona Prototypes and drove to victory in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Despite the injury, suffered in off-season training, Negri managed to secure third place at the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with–just the idea of not being able to be in the car is so tough,” said Negri. “But my doctors agree that this is the best path to take, and I owe everything to this team for supporting me through this. John [Pew, Negri’s team-mate] has been great and very understanding–he has as much passion for fitness as I do and he knows that this is the right path for me professionally. I’m eager to get going already, and will be working hard to be back and better than ever in Detroit.”

Valiante returns to the Michael Shank Racing team, having partnered John Pew full-time in 2009. He is no stranger to substitute roles, either, with his last victory coming at Mid-Ohio while stepping in for another driver.

“It’s obviously unfortunate for Ozz to have to take a little bit more time to get back to 100%,” said Valiante. “I hope he’s able to get back quickly and I am just going to try to make the most of the opportunity and support the team the best that I can. I’ve had a lot of great races with John and I’m happy that the team gave me the call to jump in here for these two races.”