Fills in for Ben Barker, who has a committment in Europe.
With just three rounds of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship remaining in the 2014 season, GB Autosport will look to make the most of each of them.
The first-year team will head to a classic track this weekend as Virginia International Raceway plays host to IMSA with a race that will feature the GTD and GTLM classes in a two hour, forty-five minute sprint set to be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (Sunday, 4:00 PM ET).
With Ben Barker back in European race action with a SuperCup round at the renowned Spa-Francorchamps, GB Autosport will bring a new driver line up for the VIR round.
Stepping in and stepping up will be promising young American racer Michael Lewis.
The start is the first TUDOR outing for Lewis, who brings a huge depth of experience to the team, having made over 100 starts in Formula 3 action in Europe before moving to IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge competition this year. That transition has proven fruitful as he is in contention for the championship with multiple race wins for his Competition Motorsports squad.
“It is very exciting to be racing for GB Autosport in my first IMSA TUDOR Championship series start,” said Lewis. "I am really grateful to the team and Michael (Avenatti) for this opportunity. It will be fun to learn this new (Porsche) GT America car, learn a new track, and learn from my very experienced teammate, Damien Faulkner. Racing a Porsche in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge will definitely help with this transition to the more powerful spec Porsche 911, and I will work hard to get the Tully's No. 81 up front!”
With Michael Avenatti having to step aside from the car for surgery following a training injury, GB Autosport has developed procedures to quickly adjust, and will look to do that once again.
Teams with Faulkner
Lewis will also have a strong teammate to lean on this weekend, as co-pilot Faulkner has a particularly strong record of success at VIR that includes a race win in ALMS competition as well as two poles.
“We are hoping to make real progress as a team this time around,” said Faulkner. “We have implemented a few changes because we have been working to address some issues with the car and hopefully this will make us more competitive starting this weekend.”
The Oak Tree Grand Prix weekend will open with practice on Friday, August 22, with the combined GTLM and GTD grid being set in qualifying on Saturday (live coverage available atwww.imsa.com). The two hour, forty-five minute race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 starting at 4:00 PM ET.