Denver: Michael Lewis qualifying summary

Michael Lewis just finished qualifying for Sunday's Trans-Am Series shoot out on the street course in Denver Colorado. Lewis indicated that the team is still searching for answers and will try some radical changes for the morning practice session...

Michael Lewis just finished qualifying for Sunday's Trans-Am Series shoot out on the street course in Denver Colorado. Lewis indicated that the team is still searching for answers and will try some radical changes for the morning practice session tomorrow.

"I had the AmeriSuites Jaguar in the top 5 for most of the qualifying session, but a couple of last minute hot laps dropped us to 6th position," Lewis said. "We are not quite with it and where we should be, but we will try some things tomorrow."

Paul Menard cut about seven tenths off of his best time to move up several spots and into the fast five for the first time in his short Trans-Am career. Menard almost certainly benefited from Boris' experience and car setup. The provisional results see Stu Hayner on the pole just nipping Boris Said. Menard is in third, followed by Butch Leitzinger Corvette, and the Jaguars of Paul Gentilozzi and Lewis.

Because this street course is so bumpy and there is precious little grip on the track, the AutoCon Racing team is searching for ways to improve the mechanical grip on the car. Michael didn't feel that the track temperatures were severe enough to cause the track to be so slick.

"I heard that a couple of the CART teams sent their cars out in a practice session using a total wet track setup in a desperate attempt to find some grip," laughed Michael. "My car is turning into the turns ok, but I have very grip in the middle of the turns right now."

When asked if he felt that the bumpy track could cause extra strain on the normally over worked drive trains on the Trans-Am cars, Lewis didn't think that that would be much of an issue. The bumps and the cement to asphalt transition issues are hurting the cars under braking and entry to the turns, not on the exit.

A couple of interesting happenings are that the Trans-Am officials impounded all of the cars after qualifying. Michael wasn't sure what they were actually doing to the cars, but he was concerned that getting the cars back extra late today would mean a longer night for the crews. This when today's schedule looked like an easy one for the Trans-Am crews that keep these hot machines running.

The second thing is that the fuel consumption numbers look close enough that Lewis felt that some teams might try to go without a fuel stop. Track position is so very critical on this Denver street track and passing is so difficult that many teams might risk it. Lewis doubted that he would try a non-stop race.

-mlr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Paul Gentilozzi , Michael Lewis , Paul Menard , Stu Hayner