The newly rebranded Meyer Shank Racing team are looking forward to this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; the second race of their part-time schedule in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series.
Last week, the team, formally known as Michael Shank Racing, announced that SiriusXM’s CEO Jim Meyer would be joining the team as a co-owner. This weekend’s race at Long Beach will be the first race with the team’s new structure and Michael Shank is hoping that the new name brings better luck.
In the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Meyer Shank Racing’s driver, Jack Harvey, had gotten off to a strong start in the #60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda. His lap-times were on a par with the race leaders, however, it all came to an early end on lap thirty-eight. A tyre failure in the final sector sent the British driver spinning off-track in the final sector, with the ensuing damage putting him into retirement.
Heading into the team’s second race of their year at Long Beach, Shank will be looking for a better result to kickstart their year:
“I was happy with how the weekend in St. Petersburg went from a team point of view—our preparation and pit stops and just feeling like we were ready to go for every session,” said Shank.
“Unfortunately we got knocked out of the race early and didn’t make it to the finish, but that was out of our control. So heading to Long Beach, we just want to build and continue to get all the laps we can and just keep developing this side of our program.
“Jack’s been super quick at Long Beach in the past and hopefully, we unload with a quick car for him and have another good weekend.”
As Shank alluded to, it is not the first time that Harvey will race at Long Beach. Jack has raced at the famous street circuit twice before, both whilst competing in the Indy Lights championship with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
In 2014, the British driver took fourth place in the event, but his pace improved for the next season. He qualified on pole position for the event in 2015, setting a new track record for the series in the process. The race, however, did not go his way, as he was forced to retire after damage sustained in a first corner collision with eventual series champion Kyle Kaiser.
“It was nice to see how much pace the team had at St. Pete because we can hopefully translate that into Long Beach,” said Harvey.
“I’m expecting a better performance from myself going into the race weekend. Long Beach is also a track which I’ve been quick at before, put it on pole in 2015 but unfortunately didn’t get through the first corner.
Long Beach is a great event and it’s in a great city. The event has a lot of history behind it from when Formula 1 was there back in the day. I’m really looking forward to heading back there and getting back on track.”
The 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach event kicks off this Friday with the opening two practice sessions. Final practice and qualifying will take place on Saturday, with the eighty-five lap main event taking place on Sunday, April 15.