Mid Ohio kicks off season on May 4 with FanFest

The EMCO Gears Classic in June is the first official event on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course calendar.

However, the track will get a head start on revving up interest to its season on May 4 when it hosts FanFest.

“I am excited to see everyone and hope to spend some time talking with our great fans that support us all season long,” track president Craig Rust said in a release.

It starts at 5 p.m. when fans can watch the final 30 minutes of the Potomac Porsche Club of America on the track. There will be pace car rides from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 to 8:15 p.m. From 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. there will be parade laps around the track for fans in their own cars. Also throughout the evening will be an autocross competition with the fastest time earning a pair of race tickets to any event. The iRacing simulator will be on site.

“It’s a great opportunity for our fans to have some fun, but also purchase tickets for their favorite events at the season’s lowest prices,” Rust said.

The final day for special advance ticket and pass prices will be May 4. There will also be concessions and souvenirs for sale during FanFest.

For more information about tickets, call 800-MID-OHIO or visit MidOhio.com.

» Shank in magazine: Columbus-based motor sports team owner Michael Shank is profiled in the latest edition of Columbus Magazine. His team won the Rolex 24 at Daytona this winter with drivers John Pew, Ozz Negri, A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson.

Shank fields two cars in the Daytona Prototype class of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The series comes to Mid-Ohio June 8 to 9 for the EMCO Gears Classic.

» Shank at Indy: Shank announced on Tuesday he hopes to field a car driven by former Firestone Indy Lights champion Jay Howard for this year’s Indianapolis 500. All that awaits is the engine deal.

MSR Indy is a partnership between Shank, Allmendinger (who competes full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) and Columbus businessman Brian Bailey.

“Entering the Indianapolis 500 is something I’ve been working on all my life,” Shank said, a former Toyota Atlantics driver. “This is a day I’ve been thinking about ever since stepping out of an Indy car