Corey Lewis says his vast experience of racing Lamborghinis in both the Super Trofeo and GT3 levels in North America is “gelling together” for his Total 24 Hours of Spa Debut.
The Lamborghini GT3 Junior driver, who currently leads the Super Trofeo North America championship, has been placed in Ombra Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo this weekend alongside Denis Dupont, Stefano Gattuso and ex-Formula 2 champion Dean Stoneman.
It comes just one week after Lewis made his fourth start of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season in Paul Miller Racing’s GT Daytona class Lamborghini, filling in for the team’s full-season driver Ryan Hardwick.
Despite having no previous experience in Blancpain GT Series competition or with the GT3-spec Lamborghini paired with Pirelli’s DHD2 tire, Lewis feels he’s been able to translate a lot of his previous knowledge.
“Chassis-wise I can get in and go and feel quite comfortable instantly,” he told Sportscar365.
“As far as figuring out the Pirelli tire, where that peak is and how they perform throughout the stint, I’m kind of used to the Michelin back home in the States.
“But also thinking back to Super Trofeo in the States, it’s a very similar [Pirelli] tire. That certainly does help also, not only on the Paul Miller side but the Change Racing side.
“All are kind of gelling together. You’ve got the Evo with the Pirelli, so you’re kind of mixing the two together.”
Lewis said he’s thankful to Lamborghini for helping connect him with the Italian squad, in what is currently a one-off race for the 27-year-old.
“If it wasn’t for Lamborghini Squadra Corse, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity,” he said.
“Giorgio Sanna and Chris Ward have helped me get to this point with Ombra Racing for this event. I’m extremely grateful for that and all the years I’ve been with Lamborghini.
“I hope to build our alliance together for years to come.”
Proto: “Big Transition” to European Racing After Super Trofeo Success
Former Super Trofeo North America Pro-Am champion Taylor Proto, who has made the transition to full-time GT3 racing in Blancpain GT with Orange1 FFF Racing Team this year, is also set for his Spa debut this weekend.
The 21-year-old U.S.-based Brit, who is coached this year by ex-Formula 1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, got his racing start in the competitive single-make series two years ago, having also earned the 2017 Pro-Am world title.
“It’s been a big transition,” Proto told Sportscar365. “Definitely, the culture and the racing. With IMSA, you’re kind of like a family.
“You know everyone and I talk to all my competitors. I don’t think I’ve had one conversation with a competitor here. All the teams are on their own islands, which has pros and cons.
“But I definitely like the focus that comes with racing here and adapting to the GT3 and more endurance-racing focused has been really, really cool.”
Proto’s only previous 24-hour race start came in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona in Ebimotors’ Lamborghini but says it has helped him prepare for this weekend in the Silver Cup entry alongside co-drivers Michele Beretta, Diego Menchaca and Giacomo Altoe.
“In the Silver car we have all young guys so we’re all really fighting to be at the sharp end of the field,” he said. “We have to be there at the end and see what happens.
“It’s 24 hours and too hard to guess. That’s what I learned in Daytona.
“I think we have a really good chance of getting a podium. All the drivers are really top guys and the team has given us unbeatable support.
“Being part of the factory effort that Lambo is doing has really been a huge help.”
Strong Super Trofeo North America Contingent in Spa
In addition to Lewis, a handful of other Super Trofeo North America regulars are taking part in the 24 Hours of Spa this weekend, including Wayne Taylor Racing/Prestige Performance co-drivers Andrea Amici and Sandy Mitchell, in Grasser Racing Team and Barwell Motorsport-entered Lamborghinis, respectively.
Lewis, who currently leads the Pro points standings with Richy Antinucci, said he’s been enjoying the fight in the series as well as his GT3 opportunities.
“We have a lot of top guys there,” he said. “When you think about everyone’s driving experience within the Pro category, everyone’s driven almost everything out there.
“We have Road America coming up next weekend, which I’m highly looking forward to. Hopefully Richy and I can continue our pace at Change Racing and Lamborghini Charlotte.
“There’s a lot of guys that are doing the Spa 24 that are racing in Super Trofeo next weekend. It’s quite cool to be jumping across the pond, in a sense, week in and week out.”