American Sports Car Ace Continues Spectacular Streak at Legendary German TrackShane Lewis won his second career, six-hour, ADAC Ruhr-Pokal Rennen at the Nürburgring Nordschleife on August 27. The victory brings his lifetime, winning-percentage at the legendary race circuit to 100 percent in the six-hour race. Overall, the Jupiter, FL-resident has finished on the podium in five-out-of-six attempts (83%) across both 24 Hour and Six Hour races at a track which is widely considered the most challenging race circuit in the world. Lewis, joined by longtime teammate and friend Vic Rice (San Rafael, CA), started from the pole position in the No.133 Götz Motorsports Audi RS-4 in the VLN-sanctioned race to claim the class victory. Götz Audi at the Nürburgring. Image courtesy of Götz Motorsports In his career, Lewis has traveled to Germany to race in the Nürburgring 24 Hour four times (2004, 2005, 2010, 2011) and the Six Hour twice (2009, 2011). The only time he has not stood on the podium at the track was the 2005 24 Hour race in which a teammate crashed-out the car early in the rain-soaked event. He took his first podium (third-place) with the Steam Racing Porsche in 2004 but has raced the remaining five-times here in the Götz Audi with Rice.Saturday's victory came with additional vindication and satisfaction. Earlier this year Lewis took third-place in class at the Nürburgring 24 Hour driving this same twin-turbo, V8, Audi Quattro. However, that podium result could have been so much more for the multi-time American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and Grand-Am Rolex Series winner. The Götz team was running second in the June 24-hour race and was closing rapidly on a slow-moving class leader when, with one hour remaining, a halfshaft broke on the car. They were able to make repairs to hold third-place but lost an almost assured second victory in the world's most grueling 24 hour race. At 15.753-miles (25.359 km), the "North Swipe" of the legendary Nürburgring has 73-turns and an elevation change of over 1,500 feet during the course of a lap. Surface and weather changes create a set of experiences that differ so wildly from start to completion of a lap that some of the world's greatest drivers have never been able to come to grips with the course that Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart nicknamed "the Green Hell". While the track still holds the mystery and respect of Lewis, it is also clear he has become one of America's most successful drivers on this demanding circuit. The course - which is now widely used as the benchmark for performance cars by the world's auto manufacturers - was deemed so dangerous that it was eventually dropped from the F1 schedule for the more "modern" Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit that today is used as part of the full Nordschleife circuit during the 24 and six-hour races.Lewis is a multiple-time race winner in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Rolex Series. In 2010, he raced to runner-up in the ALMS GTC Championship. Lewis has driven in 30 24-hour races including three 24 Hours of Le Mans (leading GT class in 2003), 14 Rolex 24 At Daytona and four 24 Hours of Nürburgring. He has raced every major class of sports car in every major international series.Quotes
About the gratification of winning his second Nürburgring Six Hour? "It is spectacular! The Six Hour is a flat-out, no-holds-barred, sprint race on the most demanding circuit in the world. It takes endurance like the 24 but you save nothing in yourself mentally or physically and drive it flat out the whole way. That's what racing is supposed to be about and that is why this race is so special! This win means so much to me in many ways but mostly because I got to do it again with my good friend Vic [Rice]. He is a spectacular co-driver and trusted friend. After his injury at the 24 Hour it was great to share the victory with him and the entire Götz team." About his career success at Nürburgring: "I would be lying if I said I wasn't very proud of the podiums and the wins here at the Nürburgring. It has taken everything I have ever learned as a driver to be successful here. The challenge is immense on every lap. That level of concentration and commitment is what I strive for as a race car driver."About what draws him to the Nürburgring? "It's like taking every great track in North America and putting them all together for one lap. You don't just show up for a race here and learn it in one day of practice. The 'Ring' takes dedication and a will to be the best on the ultimate circuit. I cannot find that challenge anywhere else. That alone will keep me coming back as long as I can." About now being recognized as an expert at the Nürburgring: "I overheard one of my German co-drivers talking about me to some of his friends. He said I was the 'American Ring-Master'. It didn't really sink in at first what that meant. Now, I am more proud of that recognition than almost anything in my entire career."About the Six Hour victory taking the disappointment of the 24 Hour away: "For sure, the win in the Six Hour did take the sting away for coming-up just an hour short in the 24 Hour. We were so, so close in winning a second Nürburgring 24 Hour race. You have no idea how hard that really is. It was heartbreaking to be standing in pit lane, all my gear on, ready to take the fight to the finish for the win back in June then to have a mechanical failure with less than an hour to go. This win helps put all of that in the past."