Laguna Seca: Shane Lewis race report

Shane Lewis Earns Top-10 at Laguna Seca MONTEREY, Calif., May 2, 2005 -- Shane Lewis, Jupiter, Fla, grabbed his first top-10 finish of 2005 in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Sunday. In the process of starting 22nd in the 52-car...

Shane Lewis Earns Top-10 at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif., May 2, 2005 -- Shane Lewis, Jupiter, Fla, grabbed his first top-10 finish of 2005 in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Sunday. In the process of starting 22nd in the 52-car field and finishing eighth, Lewis, who took over driving duties just under an hour into the two hour and 45-minute race, earned the No. 3 PAP-Parts/ OZEXE BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) the SunTrust Improve Your Position Award for the event. The improvement of 14 positions was the most of any DP in the Road & Track 250 here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the first time the team had earned the performance-based award.

Lewis also found early success in the three-hour Grand-Am Cup series event on Saturday. The race marked his return to the No. 20 Nuzzo Motorsports Mini Cooper S and his first start in Grand-Am Cup for 2005. Lewis, a multi-time Grand-Am Cup winner, started fourth in the ST class of the production-car series but would finish a disappointing 65th out of 71 starters. He had quickly worked his way up to second in class by lap five. However, on lap nine, the steering column broke entering the dauntingly fast turn-10-- a sweeping corner in which the cars carry extremely high speeds from multi-story drop from the "The Corkscrew". Fortunately, Lewis was able to bring the No. 20 to a safe stop without damage. The car returned to the pits but was unable to be repaired. It marked the second time in two races-- including the most recent Rolex Series race at Fontana Speedway in April-- that Lewis charged a car into the top-two of the race.

Lewis will return to the No. 3 BMW-Riley for a six hour endurance event at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Canada on May 21st.

Shane Lewis: "The traffic was pretty unbelievable. It was an aggressive race. Honestly, I feel sorry for the GT guys. There couldn't have been one of them that had a good time out there today. The Daytona Prototypes are so competitive that the racing is just incredibly close. With the level of professionalism that is here now, and that is continuing to come to the series, these races are becoming so competitive that you have to work for everything. You have to earn every position on the track, in the pits and back in the garage area. Nothing just happens. It's pretty intense out here and I'm really enjoying it. This is our best finish of the year and one of the best that the Southard team has had. We're starting to find our rhythm. The Riley chassis has really let the best of the BMW and the crew come out. I'm looking forward to getting to Mont-Tremblant."

For more on Shane Lewis please see www.shanelewis.com. Southard Motorsports can be found at www.southardmotorsports.com.

-slr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis