Justin Wilson returns after injury lay-off with Michael Shank's Daytona 24 Hours squad
||Saturday, January 7th 2012, 10:46 GMT
Justin Wilson made a successful return to the cockpit after his injury lay-off on Friday, having been confirmed as part of Michael Shank Racing's line-up for the Daytona 24 Hours.
IndyCar race-winner Wilson has not competed since suffering a fractured vertebrae in a practice crash at Lexington last August.
He and AJ Allmendinger will again join MSR's Grand-Am regulars Ozz Negri and John Pew in the team's Riley-Ford for the 24-hour race on 28-29 January. Wilson and NASCAR driver Allmendinger - who is a partner in MSR's new IndyCar team - have regularly linked up with Shank for Daytona in recent seasons, with second in 2006 their best result so far.
"It's great to be back," said Wilson. "Mike always does such a great job with his team and it's a privilege to be a part of it.
"It's great to team up with John, Ozz, and AJ. It's a good group and I really think we have a good chance to win. I think we just need to keep working hard, keep our heads down and see what happens."
Wilson quickly moved up to second fastest on his first run in the car, which ended the opening day of testing in 10th overall.
"I did a couple of laps this morning in the car which was my first time in the new Riley and it felt great so I'm cautiously optimistic about what we can do and hopefully it's going to play out well for us," said the Briton.
Wilson has been linked with a return to his 2009 team Dale Coyne Racing for the 2012 IndyCar season, but Coyne's squad has moved to deny that a deal is already done. It has re-signed engineer Bill Pappas, who formed a highly successful partnership with Wilson in '09, when Coyne took its only race win to date in the Watkins Glen round.