Allmendinger: "We all want to win it for Justin"

A.J. Allmendinger is confident that Michael Shank Racing can return to Victory Lane this weekend in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Allmendinger: "We all want to win it for Justin"
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Olivier Pla
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Olivier Pla
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler, #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Olivier Pla
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Olivier Pla
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Olivier Pla
A.J. Allmendinger
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Olivier Pla
DP victory lane: class and overal winners A.J. Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri, John Pew and Justin Wilson celebrate
Justin Wilson tribute paint scheme on #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri Jr.

One of the memorable finishes in Rolex 24 history involved A.J. Allmendinger. In 2012, he battled door-to-door with three-time Le Mans champion Allan McNish, even making contact on the oval at one point and ultimately, coming out on top. 

You're always worried about reliability in general, but I would say (in regards to reliability), this is one of the best couple of months we've ever put together.

A.J. Allmendinger

In 2016, he and Michael Shank Racing seen to have the car capable of doing it again. 

"It's pretty good," Allmendinger said of their chances. "Last year, I thought we had a pretty good shot at it but with all the work they've put in, it's definitely a lot more developed now. With a year more of development, it's a great shot. But every year, Ganassi shows that they are the best team out here. They don't make a lot of mistakes and their cars, for the most part, have almost been bullet proof."

Reliability not a concern

MSR failed to finish the 2015 race, completing 705 of 740 total laps during the 24-hour race. When Motorsport.com inquired about reliability for this time around, the 34-year-old racer showcased definite optimistic.

"I'll knock on wood when I say this, but we haven't really had any issues. That was something last year, coming into the test, we didn't do a lot of running because of development issues and trying to learn the car.

"So far, it's been on point and everything seems great. You're always worried about reliability in general, but I would say, when it comes to normal problems you have coming into the 24, this is one of the best couple of months we've ever put together. I'm as confident as I could be about how our reliability is going to be.

"You got to get to the end of a 24-hour race before you worry about winning it."

Remembering Justin Wilson

The late Justin Wilson used to be part of the Shank lineup (including when they won in 2012) and good friend to all of the current drivers. And A.J. revealed that he is on their minds as they prepare for the 24.

"For all of us, not just me -- We shared a bond together. Ozz and I and John and J-Wil. We all knew that when Justin was around the race track, he was always smiling and laughing.

"It's tough and you can ask all of us, we have a little chip on our shoulder. He's sitting up there watching us. It would make all of us so much more proud because we all want to win it for him and Julia and the kids.

I"t's difficult, for sure. It's strange being here without him."

shares
comments
Q&A: Mazda chief engineer details switch from diesel to petrol engine

Previous article

Q&A: Mazda chief engineer details switch from diesel to petrol engine

Next article

"Unless they break, P2s are not beatable," says McMurray

"Unless they break, P2s are not beatable," says McMurray
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020