Shane Lewis will make his twelfth start in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend after inking a deal to join Gotham Competition for the opening round of the new Grand Am season.
Lewis, who has more than 20 starts in 24 hour events to his name already, will join Randy Pobst, Gerardo Bonilla and team owners Jerome and Joe Jacalone at the wheel of the #26 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup as he returns to the GT class of the series for the first time since 2002 – having spent recent seasons running in the Daytona Prototype class with Southard Motorsports.
"I am very excited about racing with Gotham Competition at this year's Rolex 24,” he said. “For me, it is about getting in a car capable of winning. I don't care what class I am in as long as the car, the team and my co- drivers have what it takes to win at the level demanded of you in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“When I looked at all of my options in both DP and GT, I knew that Gotham was that team. I have great co-drivers, a team dedicated to winning and no one knows how to win endurance races better than Porsche. I only got a handful of laps at the test days but slipping back behind the wheel of a 911 just felt right and the Gotham guys impressed me as much as I impressed them. I am absolutely looking forward to the weekend."
Lewis added that his 25 previous starts in round the clock races would put him in good stead for the weekend, and he admitted that it wasn't always a case of the quickest car being the one that will be successful.
"The most successful finishes I have ever had in a 24 hour race were not always with the fastest cars,” he said. “It was always with the smartest drivers. Staying physically fit and mentally sharp is part of my job but the synergy of working with the right drivers, ones that understand this is not just a race but a matter of survival is how you win.
“You need guys that know the importance of never putting a wheel wrong and always taking care of the car, putting their egos aside and always thinking of the team first. That's when you put yourself in the position to win. Those are the things only experience teaches you."