Rolex 24 Hour Preview: Shane Lewis
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Shane Lewis Joins Gotham Competition at Daytona for 26th 24 Hour Start

Daytona Prototype Star to Make One Race Return to GT Ranks at Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., January 19, 2009 - In the world of endurance racing, experience brings victories. With the drop of Saturday's green flag for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Shane Lewis will mark his 26th career 24 hour race start. It will be his 12th start in the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona. The Jupiter, Fla.- resident joins Gotham Competition and co-drivers Randy Pobst (Atlanta), Gerardo Bonilla (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and team owners Jerome Jacalone (New York) and Joe Jacalone (St. Augustine, Fla.) in the GT class for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season-opener. These drivers will wheel the No. 26 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the twice-around the clock classic that is the traditional launch of the motorsports year around the world.

In a field of stars from all forms of the sport, Lewis has long been considered an endurance racing ace. The multi-time Grand-Am sanctioned event race winner is a highly-prized tactician that blends on and off-track savvy to draw the very best from his car. In 2009, he brings his impressive resume and skills back to the GT class for the first time since 2002. The native Californian's Rolex 24 starts date back to 1997 with only one year ('03) missing from his resume - the sole absence due to other motorsports obligations. Since 2004, the string of starts have come in the Daytona Prototype (DP) class with Southard Motorsports. However, the Ohio-based team closed its DP effort at the end of 2008 leaving Lewis with a chance to pursue new opportunities. Upon reviewing his list of offers, Lewis put aside the biases that would keep him from the prospects in the road car-based class to focus on what program offered him the best opportunity to win the Rolex 24. That analysis pointed the Daytona Endurance Champion towards Gotham Competition as the best opportunity to stand on the podium at the end of 24 hours.

Lewis' endurance racing career had a distinguished launch in 1990. Fresh from his 1989 victory in the celebrated SCCA American Formula Ford Festival, Lewis was asked to attend the 24 Hour of Nelson Ledges (Ohio) as a relief driver. The driver lineup was made of experienced, professional road racers. Lewis stepped into the car late in practice only to familiarize himself should he be needed in the event. Still unfamiliar with racing a sports car, Lewis set the quickest time of the lineup in a limited number of laps. He was then asked to qualify the car. Lewis earned the pole position and set fastest race lap on his way to the Showroom Stock Prototype overall victory in his first 24 hour race. He returned to Nelson Ledges twice more, again sweeping pole position, fastest race lap and the class victory in 1991 and another victory in '92.
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