Lewis and Acemco Ferrari set to start 24 Hours in seventh LE MANS, France, June 12, 2003 - Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Florida, will start his third 24 Hours of Le Mans from seventh on the GT class grid, 42nd overall, on Saturday, June 14....
Lewis and Acemco Ferrari set to start 24 Hours in seventh
LE MANS, France, June 12, 2003 - Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Florida, will start his third 24 Hours of Le Mans from seventh on the GT class grid, 42nd overall, on Saturday, June 14. Co-driver Johnny Mowlem, of Warfield, England, qualified the number 95 ACEMCO Automotive Ferrari 360 GT Modena at a time of four minutes, 15.342 seconds in the closing seconds of the final two-hour practice/qualifying session that ended a short time ago. Lewis will start the car for the three-driver team at 4 pm local Le Mans' time (10 am EDT). Lewis and Mowlem are joined in the silver and red Yokohama-tired Ferrari by American Butch Leitzinger. The trio of drivers is widely acknowledged as one of the most talented grouping of drivers in the paddock for the 71st running of the most famous sports car race in the world.
"We knew that the Porsches would be very tough to beat in qualifying so we have been in race-mode since we unloaded," remarked Lewis following the day's final of two, two hour practice sessions shortly after midnight Le Mans time. "This is a brand new car and a first year team to Le Mans. Butch, Johnny and I know this place but the guys on the team are still learning. So, we decided that we needed to focus on the race and that has gone very well. We know that the race is where the ACEMCO Ferrari can really shine. Yokohama has given us a strong tire and, barring anything unforeseen, we are aiming for a solid podium finish on Sunday afternoon. For a new car and new team, a podium would be a major accomplishment here at Le Mans. I am thrilled to be here with ACEMCO Automotive, driving everyone's dream car, a Ferrari, with two fast guys like Johnny and Butch. I'm really looking forward to starting the race on Saturday."
The final practice day was not without incident, however, as Leitzinger left the track during a stint behind the wheel. The car suffered minor rear-end damage which forced bodywork repair and a rear-wing change. However, the car returned to the track in time for additional practice and fine-tuning for race day.
While there is no on-track activity Friday, Lewis will get an opportunity for one last pre-race adjustment of the car for race day conditions on Saturday morning in a 45-minute warm-up session. A public drivers' parade through the streets of Le Mans will be held Friday.
Shane Lewis is the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing Rising Star award winner and is a multiple race winner in IMSA, SCCA Pro and Grand-Am sanctioned events. He has raced in six 24 Hours of Daytona, six 12 Hours of Sebring and four Petit Le Mans. Lewis, a regular top-five finisher in ALMS competition, has earned ALMS podium finishes at Silverstone, the Nurburgring and Portland and is one of the few drivers with experience in the four major classes of international sports car racing (LM P 900, LM P 675, LM GTS and LM GT). In 2003, Lewis is a fulltime driver for ACEMCO Motorsports in the ALMS and lead driver for the Nuzzo Motorsports Mini Cooper S in Grand-Am Cup.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.ShaneLewis.com. For more on Le Mans, please visit www.le-mans.org .