Long Beach: Mike Lewis Saturday practice report

Lewis 4th fastest in second Long Beach session but happy with the car. Long Beach, Ca. (Saturday, April 13th, 2002): Michael Lewis slid back to the fourth fastest time in Saturday morning's practice session but overall is happy with the ...

Lewis 4th fastest in second Long Beach session but happy with the car.

Long Beach, Ca. (Saturday, April 13th, 2002): Michael Lewis slid back to the fourth fastest time in Saturday morning's practice session but overall is happy with the performance of his American Sprit Racing AmeriSuites Jaguar. Defending Trans-Am Series Champion Paul Gentilozzi tied the existing track record with a hot lap of 1:22.296 with Lewis recording the 4th fastest time at a 1:23.468.

"Even though we slipped back a bit, I am really happy with the car," Michael Lewis commented after the session. "I set our fast time of the session on tires with about 70 laps on them. We put stickers on late in the session but never got a clear lap. I feel that we could have easily gotten down to the 22's."

The fast five cars in the second practice session for Sunday's Johnson Controls 100 were Gentilozzi's Jaguar, Butch Leitzinger's Corvette (1:22.791), Boris Said's Panoz third fastest at 1:23.042, and last years winning Corvette of Lou Gigliotti recorded a 1:23.797.

Lewis indicated that the track is getting better with each session as more rubber is laid onto the surface. The Long Beach street course, as with other temporary race courses, changes as the week-end progresses and there was definitely more grip this morning that in the first session on Friday.

"The car is good," reflected Lewis. "I don't know if I can touch Paul (Gentilozzi). His times in the low 22's are pretty good. But we just need to bear down. This is a small field and there will probably be only 9 or 10 cars on the track during qualifying, so we should get some clean laps and there will be no excuses."

Fast-Five qualifying takes to the 1.97 mile temporary track at 4:15 Pacific Time and since the qualifying session is at the same approximate time of day as the race on Sunday, Michael feels that track conditions for qualifying should mirror race day conditions.

"During a qualifying session you have to bear down," Lewis concluded. "You will only get two or three optimal laps on your tires so you need to get in your hot laps then. Qualifying is a distinct art and some guys do it better than others, but this is when you have to take the car into the turns 10 feet deeper and get on the throttle 5 feet earlier!"

Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls Jaguar XKR) 1:22.296 (86.089 mph)
Butch Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama Corvette) 1:22.791 (85.515 mph)
Boris Said (#33 Applied Comp Solutons Panoz) 1:23.042 (85.316 mph)
Michael Lewis (#12 AmeriSuites Jaguar XKR) 1:23.468 (84.880 mph)
Lou Gigliotti (#28 LG Motorsports Corvette) 1:23.797 (84.517 mph)

-asr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Paul Gentilozzi , Lou Gigliotti , Michael Lewis
Teams LG Motorsports