Although he has sold his Dallara DW12 to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for its new program involving Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier, Mike Shank says his team is still entertaining hopes of entering the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Shank was the only new team to publicly commit to the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series after the announcement of the new formula. Despite having sponsors on board to support the effort, the lack of availability of a competitive engine kept Shank from taking part 2012. Despite this, Shank says his organization already is in conversations with several teams about working together at the Speedway in 2013.
“There are a lot of teams that are focused on the Indianapolis 500, and this group (Michael Shank Racing) could be a way for some of these teams to partner up and support that effort while not having to commit to that kind of infrastructure for the full season,” said Shank, who made one start in the Indy Racing League as a driver. “So we've moved on from car ownership at this point, but we are working to continue to do what is right for my guys and try to find the right opportunity in the future.”
Shank admitted to mixed feelings about seeing the IndyCar he had planned to field being raced by someone else.
“I'll admit, I'm going to be keeping an eye on that car,” said Shank about the DW12 that SPM will campaign. “I can't tell you how much blood, sweat, and tears went into building this team to even be in a position to try to go IndyCar racing. But we also have to make some tough decisions along the way to make sure we have the footing we need to continue to grow, and this was just another of those decisions.
"I don't see this as the end of this at all. You simply can't be in my position and not be completely driven to want to compete in the Indianapolis 500, so we will just have to keep working and exploring all the options and see what happens.”
In the meantime, MSR is focusiing on its Daytona Prototype program, which will return to action in round 2 of the Grand-Am Rolex Series at Austin's Circuit of The Americas on March 2.