K&N's Michael Lewis Earns His First Formula 3 Euro Series Victory in Valencia, Spain

In order to start on the pole for his Round 20 victory, Lewis needed to pull off a last lap pass in Round 19
In order to start on the pole for his Round 20 victory, Lewis needed to pull off a last lap pass in Round 19
Confidence is a commanding, irrefutable, intangible - it has the power to convert ordinary people into leaders - and transforming gifted racers into great champions. If someone were able to bottle self-assurance they could rule the world, but alas, like water, the tighter you squeeze hold of confidence, the faster it pours out of your hands. It's a concept some never grasp. On September 29, 2012 in Valencia, Spain K&N's Michael Lewis took yet another giant leap forward towards a lifetime courtship with confidence and greatness, as the young American inked his first win in the Formula 3 Euro Series into the history books.

"This win means so much to me," Lewis said. "It is my first in the Euro Series and I hope to capture another one during the final race weekend in Hockenheim. Many big-time racecar drivers got their start and won in the F3 Euro Series, so to be associated with them is just incredible. I must thank Prema Powerteam for all of their hard work."

After qualifying 11th for Race 1, or Round 19, of the Formula 3 Euro Series, Lewis set a goal to finish the race in at least 8th position. The top-8 finishers from the first 40-minute race are inverted for the second race, which would put him on the pole for the afternoon's 20-minute Race 2, which he accomplished, despite receiving a drive through penalty on lap 5.

"I had come so far, even with the drive-through penalty, so I dug deep and found an opening on the last lap to slip by one more car," said Lewis. "This assured me the opportunity to start up front for Round 20, which is a 14-lap sprint race."

After taking the mandatory drive through the pit area, Lewis displayed the sort of driving brilliance he's wholly capable of. Lewis worked his way back to the tail-end of the pack still on the lead lap. Then he started picking off a car every other lap up until the final lap when he was in 9th position. He needed to pass one last car, on the last lap to gain the coveted 8th position, which then positioned him on the pole for the start of Race 2.

Lewis won his first Formula 3 Euro Series race leading from start to finish
Lewis won his first Formula 3 Euro Series race leading from start to finish
Regarding his passing prowess a humbled Lewis remarked, "Yeah, I guess it's just my style. Wherever I race, I tend to move up and pass more cars compared to the other drivers. I can't really say as to why that is, but for sure it's a good trait to have. Plus, it's a good show for the fans."

Lewis' Prema Powerteam teammate, Sven Müller, shared the front row with him for Race 2, so the anticipation was amped-up as race fans anxiously waited to see which Prema car would come out of turn-1 in the lead. The red starting lights went out and Lewis made another strong launch as he has been doing all season long. He headed to the turn-1 left hander with a two-car advantage. The two Prema cars and drivers were clearly the class of the field, but Lewis was able to maintain the two-car gap for the 14-lap race. He led every lap and crossed the finish line 0.643 seconds ahead of Müller to record his first Formula 3 Euro Series win.

Lewis was clearly a proud American atop the podium at the Formula 3 Euro Series in Valencia
Lewis was clearly a proud American atop the podium at the Formula 3 Euro Series in Valencia
Paraphrasing Lewis from his post round 20 victory video interview, in which he remarked he understood that the start would mean everything, so he cleared his head and focused on only that. Once he nailed the start, and managed the gap by the first turn, Lewis said he just kept his head down, and he didn't even look at the pit-board until it was over.

"I am feeling quite strong heading into Hockenheim, it's a good circuit for me," said Lewis. "I am working to tweak a few things on my driving/plan and the rest, we'll see what happens. Too much confidence can hurt, so I am going to keep a level head and do what I know I can do."

The final 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series season event will take place on October 19-21, at the world-famous Hockenheimring Circuit in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.

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