BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Sunday, August 19, 2001- Weather played a huge role in Shane Lewis' weekend here at Mosport International Raceway. The Jupiter, Florida driver started the ...
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Sunday, August 19, 2001- Weather played a huge role in Shane Lewis' weekend here at Mosport International Raceway. The Jupiter, Florida driver started the #45 ESP American Viperacing Dodge Viper GTS-R 14th on a rain-slicked track and, teamed with former Dodge-regular David Donohue, raced to 15th overall, fourth in class, on dry pavement. The GT3 Grand Prix of Mosport was Lewis' third American Le Mans Series event with the team; including a season-high third at Portland last weekend and a fourth at Sears Point.
"Wow, this race! We really had to fight for fourth-place even," exclaimed Lewis. "We made a lot of changes to the car because of the heavy downpour of rain that we saw coming in and we went to a complete rain setup. It caught us a little off-guard when the track went dry. We had to really fight the car to stay in the position we were in. It was a call that we thought would pay off for us but unfortunately the track dried out. David Donohue did a fantastic job bringing the car home in one piece. The crew made just flawless pit stops. I'll tell you, this was actually more work than anything."
Rain fell most of the morning forcing a 'wet weather' start. The American Viperacing team opted to sit out this morning's warm-up session prior to the race to focus on changing the Viper over to a full wet-weather setup. However, the rain stopped shortly after the start of the 2-hour and 45-minute race and the track dried quickly. Lewis had to adapt his driving-style to overcome the high-downforce, softer wet-setup.
Lewis drove the car in the first two difficult stints of the day- approximately one hour and thirty minutes- before turning the red, white and black front-engined car over to Donohue to finish the race. It was during Lewis' time behind the wheel that the track went through its greatest changes.
"We knew we had to be smart," offered Lewis on the American Viperacing strategy. "We know that we can't beat the Saleen or the Vette outright on speed so we have to have good pit stops and race intelligently. The rain would have been our best chance today."
Lewis and Donohue gained over two-seconds from the first practice to the last as they learned more about the car. "We actually learned a lot from this race; a lot about the car and ways that we can make improvements. Overall, it was actually a pretty good weekend. My leg is doing great and on a track like this on a day like this, I am really happy about that. For all the surgery and rehab the leg is really becoming a none-issue in the car." Lewis commented on the weekend's results.
Shane Lewis will now prepare for the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio scheduled for next Saturday, August 25, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex in Lexington, Ohio.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.ShaneLewis.com .