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MSR Signs Yacaman And Pizzonia For The Full Season
Alongside Pew And Negri

Michael Shank Racing has announced that the #6 Riley Ford DP will be piloted by two South American drivers for the rest of the 2013 season – 2012 Colombian Race Driver of the Year Gustavo Yacaman and Brazilian former F1 racer Antonio Pizzonia.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here, making this announcement with Gustavo and Antonio,” said team owner Michael Shank at a press conference in Bogota. “We’ve been working for a long time to be back to a two-car effort and while there were a lot of good options for us, the biggest thing was to know that we’d be coming to each race with an opportunity to be successful. I really believe that with these two drivers, we’ve got the tools we need to be competitive, and hopefully this will be a strong platform for us to build on and prepare for 2014 and beyond.”

l-r Pizzonia, Yacaman, Shank

Yacaman enjoyed a highly successful Grand-Am debut at the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona, finishing third for MSR alongside Jorge Goncalvez, Michael McDowell and Felipe Nasr.  He subsequently competed in the Indy Lights Championship, finishing third overall and taking two wins.

“This is a very exciting day for me and my career, to be joining Mike Shank and looking forward to a full season in the Rolex Series,” said Yacaman. “I know how good this team is, and the racing with these Daytona Prototypes is very competitive and very close so it is something that all the drivers really enjoy. Having a co-driver like Antonio is going to be great - he has a lot of experience and even though he will be new to the Prototypes, I think we will be a strong combination.”

Pizzonia comes to Grand-Am via F3000, F1, IndyCar, Superleague Formula and Stock Car Brasil. He has also raced in the GT3 Brasil Championship.

“I am very excited to be joining Michael Shank Racing and to have the opportunity to compete in the Rolex Series,” said Pizzonia. “The racing is very close and competitive, and Mike Shank’s team has a lot of experience with the Daytona Prototypes. I am looking forward to racing with Gustavo and quickly learning all the tracks and getting used to racing in America.”

The team’s second DP, #60, will be raced by MSR regulars – and 2012 Rolex 24 winners – John Pew and Ozz Negri Jr.

“My whole crew, as well as Ozz and John, all come from that open wheel background and we’ve been through the transition of knowing what it takes to get results in a short sprint to knowing what it takes to earn podiums in Grand-Am,” said Shank. “So the fact that both Antonio and Gustavo have experience not only in single-seaters, but also in a range of other formats is only going to help them make a quick transition to Rolex Series racing. It’s some hard racing!”

The second round of the 2013 Roles Sports Car Championship takes place on March 2nd at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.