While now being the only Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R team in Pirelli GT4 America, Shane Lewis believes they can build on the momentum from the second half of the 2018 season following its mid-season car switch.
Lewis and teammate Gar Robinson are set for their first full season with the Pratt & Miller-built GT4 contender, which they debuted at Road America last year after starting the season with Mercedes-AMG GT4 machinery.
With longtime Chevrolet squad Blackdog Speed Shop making the switch to McLaren 570S GT4s for 2019, the George Robinson-owned operation has become the only Camaro entrant in GT4 Sprint, which kicks off this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg.
Lewis is upbeat on the season ahead, knowing they can hit the ground running after a year filled with unknowns.
“I wouldn’t say it was a disruption, just a change to go from Mercedes to Camaros mid-season, learning both cars,” he told Sportscar365.
“For us as drivers, they weren’t as incredibly different as we thought they’d be. The Pirelli tire is a good equalizer and the BoP… There’s a lot of similarities.
“Working with the guys at Pratt & Miller has just been phenomenal.
“They’re putting all their efforts into our program, as much as they can do. The difficult thing is the BoP.”
One of the biggest variables for 2019, according to Lewis, is a revised tire for the Camaro GT4.R following a revised homologation by the SRO.
While now being on the same-sized Pirelli P Zero as the Ford Mustang GT4, among other cars, Lewis said the taller tire has created some challenges, particularly on tight and twisty circuits.
The team completed a test at Homestead-Miami Speedway with both the old and new tires.
“It was better in some areas and worse in others,” Lewis said. “So I think it will be that way at different tracks. It will be better, maybe at longer tracks, but worse at the shorter tracks.”
Lewis Set to Compete for GT4 Am Honors
The sports car racing veteran looks set to compete in the GT4 Am class this year, following his re-classification to a Bronze-rated driver in late 2017.
“I’m sure there’s going to be some complaining but I try to keep myself in good shape for an old guy!” said the 51-year-old.
“I didn’t ask, the team didn’t either. We are just going by the rules.
“I really don’t care [which class] I’m in. I’m just so fortunate to be driving with this team. This is the best team I’ve ever driven for in my entire [career].
“Other than being great people, they work so freakin hard.”