Shane Lewis to do sports car weekend double. JUPITER, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2002 -- Following the great American tradition of playing two baseball games back-to-back, Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Florida, will attempt his own sort of amazing ...
Shane Lewis to do sports car weekend double.
JUPITER, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2002 -- Following the great American tradition of playing two baseball games back-to-back, Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Florida, will attempt his own sort of amazing motorsports' double-header this weekend, June 29-30. Lewis will race the #43 Orison Marketing - Planet Earth Motorsports Corvette Z06 on Saturday, June 29 at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and then pilot the #45 American Viperacing Dodge Viper GTS-R around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Mid-Ohio) the following day. Lewis is one of a handful of drivers who competes in both the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series (Grand-Am Cup) but the only driver known to be attempting to race in both events on this first conflicting weekend.
"We are pretty close on points in both series so there was just no way to decide," remarked Lewis on his choice to compete in both events. "The Orison Marketing-Planet Earth Motorsports' team and the American Viperacing guys have committed a lot to me this season and I couldn't let either of them down. There is no doubt this will be tough but well worth it at the end of the weekend. I feel like I am in the best physical shape of my life and I am driving better than I ever have. If you are ever going to pull something like this off, now is the time to do it."
The Lancaster, California-born driver is currently seventh in driver's points in the GTS-class of the ALMS and in the top-15 of the Grand-Am Cup standings. Lewis raced to a top-five finish in-class at both the ALMS events this season and won the Grand-Am Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway in dominating fashion.
When asked what the most difficult part of the weekend will be, Lewis paused before answering, then said; "To me it will be the mental toughness this will require. People always look at the physical demands of doing something like this and ignore the mental. You have to have complete concentration inside the car the whole time. You can't slip up even a little bit when you are racing in two events that are so competitive. You have to keep your concentration at 110% the whole time. I have logged a lot of hours in race cars so I think I am mentally prepared for it but I see that as being the toughest part of driving the two events. Of course, the logistics are pretty tough as well. One hick-up in our travel plans and it could mean trouble. We'll be driving each leg of the trip so this might be the longest-known racing road trip back-and-forth between two tracks in one weekend."
To run both races Lewis will have to cover the nearly 1,000-mile round-trip from Alton, Virginia to Lexington, Ohio twice over the four-day period. The 1998 Professional Sportscar Rising Star Award-winner will begin the weekend on Thursday at VIR in open testing from 4-6 pm (EDT). Immediately following that session he will travel to Mid-Ohio where he will take part on Friday's opening day of activities for the ALMS race with a practice from 1:30 - 3 pm (EDT). Saturday and Sunday's schedules are much more compressed and heated for Lewis. He will return to Virginia on Friday evening in preparation for a day of activity in the Orison Marketing Vette. A 10 am practice is quickly followed-up by GSI-class qualifying at 10:45 with the start of the three-hour/ 250-mile Grand Sport race at 3 pm, Saturday. Immediately following the post-race activities, Lewis will start the trek back to Mid-Ohio where he plans to make an 8 am Sunday morning warm-up in the American Viperacing entry to ready for the 2 pm start of the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio 2 hour and 45-minute event.
Television viewers can follow Lewis' exploits on his web site, www.ShaneLewis.com, and via live timing and scoring on the Grand-Am Cup web site, www.grand-am.com/grandamcup, and the ALMS site at www.americanlemans.com. The American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio will be broadcast live while the Grand-Am Cup race will air on September 14 at 5 pm (EDT). Each will show on the SPEED Channel.
Shane Lewis has been racing since 1989. He is the 1998 Professional Sports Car Rising Star award winner and has multiple race wins in the IMSA Supercar and SCCA Pro series. Lewis has American Le Mans Series (ALMS) podium finishes at Silverstone, Nurburgring and last season at Portland. 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, he is competing as the lead driver for the #43 Orison Marketing -- Planet Earth Corvette Z06 in the GSI-class of the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series and as lead pilot of the #45 American Viperacing Dodge Viper in the ALMS GTS-class.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.ShaneLewis.com.
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Contact: Tom Moore, Shane Lewis Racing Media Relations 770-466-5442 (phone), 770-466-5443 (fax), 404-229-3703 (cell) Tom@DarkhorseCom.com (email) www.DarkhorseCom.com
SHANE LEWIS www.shanelewis.com