Team Report: Double Top-Five For Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.Rs at Lime Rock Park
Source: Sunday Group Management
Lakeville, Conn. (25 July 2015) – Stevenson Motorsports brought home two top-five finishes at Lime Rock Park in Round 6 of the 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship on Saturday.
The Stevenson Motorsports No. 6 Camaro Z/28.R grew its championship advantage with a charging run to fourth from Robin Liddell and co-driver Andrew Davis in the two-hour race. The No. 9 Camaro Z/28.R entry of Matt Bell and Lawson Aschenbach came home in fifth after starting the race from pole and leading in the early stages.
Davis started from third on the grid, and followed the battle for the lead in close quarters at the start. Battling through traffic on lap 36, Davis had contact with the No. 13, which generated a penalty from the race stewards as Davis was forced to pit lane for a drive-though.
“The first part of the race was going pretty well,” said Davis. “Once we started getting into traffic, you realize how big a battle it’s going to be. The ST cars were quick enough that they could give you trouble. I was able
to gain some ground on Matt (Bell, leader) and Hugh (Plumb) through some traffic. There was a big jam-up in Turn 2. I couldn’t see through the cars in front of me. As Hugh checked up, I unfortunately hit him. I feel horrible and certainly it was not intentional. I hate that it caused damage to their car and knocked them out of position. At the same time I felt bad for our guys because we had to serve a drive-through penalty. It wasn’t anything intentional that I was doing. I just wasn’t able to slow in time before I made contact. I hate it for the guys because they work really hard, and I never like damaging our Stevenson Camaro.”
Liddell took over the driving duties on a lap 60 pit stop, returning to the fray sixth in the order just past the halfway mark of the race. Looking to continue the impressive podium streak that he shares with Davis, Liddell charged to the checkered flag, coming home fourth in the order.
“Robin did a good job and we were able to fight back to fourth,” said Davis. “We still salvaged what we could for the day. In reality, we came out of the race with good points and a good finish. It knocks our podium streak but it just wasn’t the race for us. I’m proud of the team and Team Chevy. The Camaro Z/28.R still ran well so we’ll move on to the next race.”
Bell opened the race from pole and led 47 of the the initial 56 laps before turning the car over to Aschenbach. The duo lost time during the pit stop, but Aschenbach returned the No. 9 to the point for eight laps. Unfortunately, contact with a balky ST car cost him time and track position as he fell to sixth in the order before recovering to finish fifth.
“It was just not our day,” said Aschenbach. “It was looking good at the start. Matt did a great job and we got some fortunate with some stuff happening behind him and built a big lead. But then things stopped going well. We had a slow pit stop that lost us our lead. Then when we were battling, a back marker ST car with no awareness came down on me and pushed me off the track. That was it for us. It’s a frustrating way to end. I have to say thanks to everyone at Stevenson Motorsports. The Chevy Camaro Z/28.R was fast. Something may have gotten out of whack during the hit. For all the problems we had, to come out of here with fifth is something to be fairly happy with. We definitely let one slip through our fingers today. It’s just been sort of frustrating all year. We’ve been one of the fastest cars – if not the fastest – and we just can’t close it out. We’ll keep fighting and get one sooner or later.”
“More than anything else I just feel that we’ve been racing hard with the No. 13 car for, what, 5 years now, and I don’t think our two cars have ever come together,” said team manager Mike Johnson of the early incident. “And I just feel bad for them because they’re on a shoestring trying to make it one race to the next. We have a great points battle with them and it’s really a two car race and when one of them loses a lot of points in one day you just feel bad for them. Obviously Andrew (Davis) and no one on this team is really thrilled about it. But it’s racing, it happens. And if you look on the flip side of it, we got some points. We’ve got some ugly races coming for us. Camaro has no straight line speed, the series has taken a lot of that away. And we’re going to a four mile track with nothing but straight line speed! This championship is far from over and we have to just keep bringing our A Game.”
FOX Sports 1 will televise the race on Sunday, August 2 at 12:00 PM ET.