RYAN LEWIS READY FOR THE ROLEX 24 AFTER A SUCCESFUL TEST
Grapevine, Texas - January 24th, 2010 - After making both his GRAND-AM and Daytona International Speedway debut at the Roar Before the 24, Ryan Lewis is now prepared to take on the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend. Although no stranger to endurance and sports car racing, the historic event will be the first 24 hour event for the British driver.
Once again driving for the PR1 Motorsports team, Lewis will compete in the 24 hour race alongside teammates Tom Papodopoulos, Max Hyatt and David Cheng, driving the team's #32 BMW M6. The team made steady progress throughout the three day test eventually posting the 15th quickest GT class combined time.
"The test overall went very smoothly. Of the four of us only Max (Hyatt) had some significant time in the car so the main focus was getting as much seat time as possible for the rookies," Lewis said after his first run in the team's GT car. "The BMW was certainly different to some of the other cars I have driven in the past, but within a lap of leaving pit lane you know you are driving a real race car. Once you adjust your driving style a little to play to the cars strengths, it becomes a really fun and rewarding car to drive. The power and noise from the BMW V8 is awesome."
Throughout the next two test days Lewis and the PR1 Motorsports team continued to improve their pace and focused on set-up work on their BMW. On the final morning Lewis posted the fastest time for the car with a lap of 1m51.178s around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn speedway road course.
"At the end of the test I was happy with the balance of the car and the progress all of us had made over the three days. The only minor frustration I had was that I don't think we posted the time that the car was capable of doing," Lewis said. "We decided to put new tires on after I posted our fastest time in the first few laps of my run, unfortunately I made a small mistake at the kink on my first flying lap trying to carry to much speed and had to work pretty hard to avoid damaging the car. Even though I don't think we reached our potential I still came away from the test confident that we will be at the sharp end of things come qualifying. Even more encouraging was that the car was not difficult to drive at any point, which is the really important factor in a race of this duration. We have the right package to be able to put in consistent laps over long periods of time without having to really lean on the car. Looking after the car and being in a good position in the last hour of the race is what it's all about."
"This is going to be my first 24 Hour race so I'm sure it's going to be different experience to the other endurance races I have done. Both Max (Hyatt) and Tom (Papadopoulos) have experience at the Rolex 24 so I'm going to try and learn as much as I can from them regarding when to sleep, eat, anything to make my job a little easier. I am really looking forward to bringing in another strong result for PR1 Motorsports. Our podium at Petit Le Mans last year was fantastic so I can't wait to go racing with the team again."
The Rolex 24 at Daytona, inaugural event of the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Season, takes place January 27 - 30 at the Daytona International Speedway.
-source: ryan Lewis PR