IMSA Spotlight: Corey Lewis
Driver: No. 16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (IWSC) & No. 36 Strategic Wealth Racing Porsche Cayman (CTSC)
How has it been racing in the GS class this year, against mostly new cars?
“Driving in the Continental Tire Challenge with Matt Dicken and Goldcrest Motorsports with Strategic Wealth Racing this year has been a lot of fun, but to be honest has been challenging.
“We started the season off with a fourth-place finish at Daytona, our team’s best ever finish. It was a big weight off everyone’s shoulders and we were all stoked to carry the momentum to Sebring International Raceway for round two of the championship.
“But, when we arrived at Sebring, it was a challenging weekend to say the least. We didn’t get the result we wanted and our Porsche Cayman was tough to tame on the setup. We tried everything on the car, it was just one of those weekends.
“But I love that everyone never gave up and we pushed with everything we had! So, it’s been a challenging start, but we as a team are coming ready for Laguna Seca.”
You race in both ST and GTD. Is there anything you learn it the Continental Tire Challenge race that helps you in the WeatherTech Championship race?
“First, to say that I am able to race in both the Continental Tire Challenge and WeatherTech Championship is humbling. I remember a couple years ago just dreaming of just one race in the Continental Tire challenge and my year would be made.
“With being able to drive for Goldcrest Motorsports with Strategic Wealth Racing in the Continental Tire Challenge and Change Racing in our Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in the WeatherTech Championship, there are some things that I can carry over with me to the GT side, but with the cars being so drastically different it’s sometimes tough.
“With both series running on Continental tires, I am able to compare how the car handles over a stint or a longer run. This will help us dial in the setup for the car.
“Also, race craft, both series are known for close, action packed hard racing! It’s like going from JV to Varsity. Those WeatherTech Championship drivers are relentless.”
If you were able to bring one former CTSC/GRAND-AM track back on the calendar, which one would it be and why?
“Honestly, I’d have to say Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That place is always special to be, the history there, walking through the infield tunnel to get to our paddock. That alone gave me the goosebumps in the past.
“I was fortunate enough to get a win at Indianapolis with Cody Ellsworth with BERG Racing a few years ago, that forever is a moment that I’ll always remember. Of course I kissed the bricks!”
Taking a look at Mazda Raceway, what are some of the challenges that this track presents?
“The challenges of Laguna Seca, in my opinion, I think it’s one of the toughest tracks that we go to on the schedule. It’s always so difficult to set up the car here.
“The California sun beating down on the track and then all the dust and sand being knocked on the track. I feel like the track is constantly challenging you as a driver. But I love it.
“As a driver you need to be precise on your driving line. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the simulator in prep for this race. Finding that perfect line through the Corkscrew, can make or break a lap time there.”
How did you get your start in racing? Do you recall your very first race?
“I got my first taste of racing at a young age. I had a family friend that raced go karts and my family and I went to one of his races. Instantly I got hooked and wanted to give it a try. Next thing I know, my parents had given me a go kart.
“The journey to becoming a race car driver began. I can remember everything about my first race; Oakland Valley Race Park, Cuddebackville, NY. Of course it was raining, as if I wasn’t nervous enough already just to race in the dry, it had to be raining.
“I remember starting fourth or fifth in the feature race, and by Turn 2 I somehow gotten the lead. But by Turn 3, I was a bit too aggressive and spun, stalled the motor and my race was over.
“I remember being so, so upset and thought my racing career was over instantly. I can remember thinking what team owner is going to want a six-year-old karter that didn’t win his first ever go kart race. Silly me!
“Still to this day, I’m extremely hard on myself, I am my own biggest critic. It’s helped build me to the person and driver I am today… 17 years later.. Living my dream. Thank you to everyone that has helped get me to where I am today.”