Shane Lewis Draws From All Corners to Maximize VIR Run ALTON, Vir., October 4, 2005 -- Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is rich with history from much of sports car racing's golden age. Despite its decades of racing history, for...
Shane Lewis Draws From All Corners to Maximize VIR Run
ALTON, Vir., October 4, 2005 -- Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is rich with history from much of sports car racing's golden age. Despite its decades of racing history, for Shane Lewis, driver of the No. 3 PAP-Parts/ OZEXE Southard Motorsports BMW-Riley, it offers a new twist with every turn. Entering Sunday's VIR 400 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race, the Jupiter, Fla.-resident has earned two top-ten and 11 top-15 finishes in 12 DP starts this season. Two races remain including the 250 mile/ 77 lap race at VIR and Lewis is eager to return to the top-10 as he had done earlier in the season. VIR's 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course in southern Virginia could be the ideal place for the multi-time Grand American-sanctioned event winner to return to the top step of the podium. He finished ninth here last year driving the Southard BMW DP and held the 2004 Grand-Am Cup ST track record with a MINI Cooper S.
"I really enjoy the track," commented Lewis. "It's very challenging, very fast and technical. Every tenth [of a second] means something. It's great to have a real drivers track on the schedule. The Rolex Sports Car Series has such great courses and VIR is definitely on the top of that list. No matter how much you're here, I think there is something you can learn at every corner, every time you go out. You can gain time in almost every corner no matter how well you thought you got through it the last time. For a driver that is pretty cool because it never grows old. It never gets boring."
While Southard has not tested this season, Lewis recently completed a series of tire tests with a Historic SportsCar Racing Series GTP car at VIR. In the test he learned several things that the team plans to utilize this weekend.
"I do a lot of testing for teams all over racing," continued Lewis. "A few weeks ago I was here at VIR testing tires for an HSR team and learned a few things that I think, added to what the Southard team learned at Watkins Glen last race, will really help us. I'm pretty excited to have a few ideas up my sleeve for VIR this weekend. We only have two races remaining in the season and we're all working really hard to finish-off the year like we started it."
Lewis is currently ranked 15th in driver points. A strong run Sunday could move him into the Top-10 with only the race at Mexico City remaining on the 2005 calendar. He is currently 24 points out of tenth with 35 markers available for the win.
SPEED Channel will broadcast the race live starting at 1 PM (EDT), Sunday, October 9. Live timing and scoring can be found at www.GrandAmerican.com beginning with Friday's first practice at 9:20 AM. Qualifying is scheduled for 1:10 PM, Saturday.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.ShaneLewis.com.
Southard Motorsports can be found at www.SouthardMotorsports.com.