Miami: Shane Lewis to wheel Saleen for Nash

MIAMI, Friday, October 4, 2002 -- Shane Lewis will make his return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) later today driving the ...

MIAMI, Friday, October 4, 2002 -- Shane Lewis will make his return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) later today driving the #83 Graham Nash Motorsports Saleen S7 at the Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge-portion of the Grand Prix of the Americas. The 1.57-mile circuit cut through the streets of downtown Miami will be the Jupiter, Florida resident's first race with the Graham Nash team but his fifth ALMS race of the season. Lewis will drive the race version of the street-going Saleen supercar in the GTS-class with co-driver Regan Morgan of New Zealand.

"I am very pleased to be asked to drive the Graham Nash Saleen S7 here in Miami," commented Lewis while being fitted for the seat of the mid-engine exotic sports car. "This race is in my backyard and you always want to run well for your friends and family. I know the Shane Lewis Fan Club will be out here in force all weekend. With the combination of Graham Nash Motorsports, Saleen and the great tire Pirelli puts on the track, I feel very confident that we'll be able to put on a good show for everyone. This will be my first time behind the wheel of an S7 but I have driven a lot of Saleens. I think the S7 is a perfect fit for this track. The car is quick and handles well and those things make all the difference on a street course. The Miami circuit should bring out the best in the handling of the Saleen and maybe not play as well to all of the advantages that the Corvette has since we still have some rule restrictions on the car. It should be a good race. I'm really looking forward to it."

Practice begins for the dual ALMS-CART weekend today. The two-hour and 45-minute Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge takes place at 4 pm (EST) on Saturday, Oct. 5. Lewis' race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel.

"I have known Regan for awhile but this will be our first time driving together," commented Lewis on his co-driver. "We are going to make a great team and we are both looking forward to it. It is going to be a tough challenge because this car has to race next week at the Petit Le Mans and we have to bring it back without a scratch. At any street course things can get just a little physical and we will have to race as hard as we can without bumping and rubbing out there. I guess in some respects we'll have to approach it like an endurance race and bring it home in one piece. But don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean we won't be racing hard."

Shane Lewis has been racing since 1989. He is the 1998 Professional Sports Car Rising Star award winner and has multiple race wins in IMSA, SCCA Pro and Grand-Am sanctioned events. This former Daytona Endurance Champion has driven in 16 24-hour races including two 24 Hours of Le Mans, six 24 Hours of Daytona and six 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2002, Lewis has competed in the ALMS with three GTS-class top-five finishes in five races. In the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series Lewis' has enjoyed an overall win at Phoenix and in the Grand-Am Road Racing Series he has a GS II class victory and a GTS-class third-place, both earned in the same race at Mont Tremblant, Canada.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Shane Lewis