Past Success Encourages Lewis At Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, OH, Friday, August 24, 2001- Shane Lewis returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio American Le Mans Series (ALMS) event. The Jupiter, Florida driver...
Past Success Encourages Lewis At Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, OH, Friday, August 24, 2001- Shane Lewis returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio American Le Mans Series (ALMS) event. The Jupiter, Florida driver comes into the 2 hour and 45-minute Saturday event intent on returning to the victory podium in his #45 ESP American Viperacing Dodge Viper GTS-R. As in Mosport last weekend, Lewis will again team with David Donohue where the duo combined for fourth in GTS-class.
"I am really excited about getting to run here at Mid-Ohio with American Viperacing," enthused Lewis. "This is a great track, one of the true, traditional road courses. I enjoy tracks with elevation changes and technically different types of corners and Mid-Ohio plays right into that. This should be a good race for our American Viperacing team."
Lewis has enjoyed much success at Mid-Ohio in the past. He has two podium finishes at the track in only three professional races and was running well in the third before an engine failure dropped him from contention. Though he continues extensive rehabilitation from surgery earlier this season on his right leg, Lewis feels that the racetrack may be the stage of additional success this weekend.
"Any time you can find a track that seems to fit your style you want to race there as much as you can," commented Lewis about his history at the Lexington, Ohio road course. "For whatever reason I have only gotten to compete here three times but we have had our share of success and disappointment in those events. Each of the races sticks out in my mind. I won my first IMSA Supercar event here back in '95 racing against a lot of guys with factory backing. We took a third driving with Andy Pilgrim in '99 and I had a chance to take some podium photos before rushing off to the airport to catch a flight to Le Mans to join Riley and Scott of Europe for the first time. So, I have a lot of neat memories of this place. We could add to that this weekend."
The former Professional Sports Car Racing Rising Star award-winner will be competing in his fourth race with the American Viperacing team, his second with Donohue, since returning from the surgery and subsequent complications in July. Despite a steep early learning curve for crew and driver, Lewis feels the team is starting to find the sweet spot for the V10-powered American muscle cars.
"We have learned so much about these Vipers since Sears Point (Lewis' first race with the team) that I feel like we are really getting close," said Lewis about the progress of the team's new Viper GTS-Rs built by Team ORECA. "David (Donohue) and I really figured out a lot last weekend at Mosport in the rain and it looks like that is going to help us this weekend at Mid-Ohio. I am thrilled to be here with such a strong team and getting to return with David."