Ryan’s Cleveland disappointment

PUBLISHED: 13:44 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

AFTER finishing second, and almost winning, his first Champ Car Atlantic race, Ryan Lewis was confident of a good finish in the first of the double-header races at Cleveland this weekend. The Royston racer qualified 20th on the grid as a grounded tow truc

AFTER finishing second, and almost winning, his first Champ Car Atlantic race, Ryan Lewis was confident of a good finish in the first of the double-header races at Cleveland this weekend.

The Royston racer qualified 20th on the grid as a grounded tow truck caused qualifying to be red-flagged just as the session entered the final, and crucial, 10 minutes.

Lewis made up seven places at the start of the race, using his experience of standing starts, but clipped the wall on lap six and had to pit for repairs.

He rejoined the race four laps down and could only finish 19th. Before the end though he left his stamp on the race by posting the second fastest time, despite driving a car that was slightly damaged.

"The race from the start was really good. I made up quite a few positions. Unfortunately I went too wide trying to get a run on Dirani in the opening laps and tapped the wall. I was able to get back out but I knew the race was done for us. I wanted to get some track experience and try and get fastest lap but my team-mate beat me to it. We were the only two cars to get in the 64s today," said Lewis.

"The car got better and better throughout the race. It's looking good for tomorrow. If I manage to do another good start I think we can get ourselves inside the top-five and salvage as many points as I can this weekend."

Lewis fought his way up to fourth place from 13th position on the grid for race two at Cleveland on Sunday, but ultimately had to settle for finishing 15th after going off whilst hunting down third place.

The Royston driver has never been afraid to go for an overtaking manoeuvre and he made quick work of scything through the field up to fourth.

However as he was catching Simon Pagenaud in third, he caught the tyres and went off.

"The start of the race was good, I got held up by a few people like Danilo Dirani, my sparring partner back from British F3 last year." said Lewis

"It was a good race, very encouraging. We had the pace and we were one of the quickest cars on the circuit for most of the race. It's just a shame that I managed to make contact with something yet again".

"My front wing just clipped the tyres in the last chicane and that ripped it off and spat me up in the air, and that was it really.

"Before that, the car was brilliant and I was closing in on everyone very quickly, and I'm sure I could have finished second behind Graham on the podium.


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