RACE RECAP: Determination and perseverance paid off for the No. 21 Aspen Knolls Porsche GT3 R team at the Nurburgring today, when drivers Shane Lewis and Cort Wagner scored a hard-earned third place finish in GT, and 13th overall, in the...
RACE RECAP: Determination and perseverance paid off for the No. 21 Aspen Knolls Porsche GT3 R team at the Nurburgring today, when drivers Shane Lewis and Cort Wagner scored a hard-earned third place finish in GT, and 13th overall, in the rain-soaked Bitburger/AvD 1000 Le Mans Series Race. Following a series of early pit stops to change tires as the weather shifted from dry to wet to hard rain, the team fell as far as 11th in the GT class (from a fifth place grid position) just past the one-hour mark. The duo steadily worked their way through the field with Lewis, 34, of Jupiter, Fla., putting on a hard charge mid-race to eventually claim third position with approximately 90 minutes remaining, then turning the car over to Wagner, 36, of Los Angeles, for the final stint. This was the first time racing at the Nurburgring for both Lewis and Wagner, and the team's second podium finish in as many American Le Mans Series (ALMS) races, after also finishing 3rd at Silverstone in May.
LEWIS QUOTES: "We knew, after we fell behind early on, that we just had to dig in and keep it on the track and, with some luck thrown in, we made a great comeback. In the latter part of the race, we didn't have a beacon and the dash board went out, and I didn't know lap times or rpms, so I just got into a rhythm that felt right and stayed with it. There was fog on the inside of the windows, rain and debris on the outside - I was really driving by Braille. I wasn't sure if I was gaining on anybody, but I noticed that no other GT cars were passing me and I'd gone by the BMWs a couple of times, so I just said to myself 'don't worry about it and just drive the car.'"
WAGNER QUOTES: "When I took over for the last stint, we had a bit of a lead on the fourth-place car, but I couldn't really back off to a 'safe' pace because you just never know what's going to happen. You need to keep building that cushion just in case. So I just kept right on the pace that got us where we were at that point. It worked all day, so why change now. It was still really wet out there, but I was lucky. No close encounters at all."