Michael Shank Racing took a double top-10 finish at the site of the team’s first two-car entry, Laguna Seca.
Gustavo Yacaman and Justin Wilson led the charge, taking sixth place, while team-mates John Pew and Ozz Negri fought to a tough 10th position.
Yacaman began the race for the #6 Ford-Riley from 11th on the grid, moving up in to the top ten in the early laps, but could not make any more ground before handing the car over to Wilson. Utilising a bold pit strategy, Wilson managed to pick up the places and take sixth after late caution periods saved his rivals who were low on fuel.
“Everyone just kept plugging away and trying to get everything out of it that we could,” said Wilson. “We had a good middle stint there, it was nice to make up some ground. I was running with the 90 car and the 02. We opted to double stint the tires, and I think it was the right move. But it was just a handful from then on, sliding around all over the place, and I was just hanging on. I’m pleased to get sixth, but we’ll just keep pushing away and see what else we can do.”
Pew had hoped that a strong qualifying display would translate in to a strong result on Sunday, however the team’s set-up didn’t suit race-day conditions and the #60 machine struggled.
“I was having a problem with getting the power down and being able to keep the rear underneath us,” said Pew. “It was tough. I was trying to be conservative, but it still became pretty challenging, pretty quickly, so I know it was a handful for Ozz! It wasn’t what we wanted today, but hopefully we can close the year out on a good note at Lime Rock.”
“I moved the bars more this race than you would normally all season long,” added Negri. “The car just never had grip. It wasn’t really a balance question, just the grip wasn’t there. I had to really make the most of the GT traffic just to even hold my place. It was a lot of work out there today but we were fighting all the way to the end.”