Daytona Beach, FL – Eric Curran and Lawson Aschenbach rallied the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R from the 23rd starting position to capture a fifth-place finish in today’s BMW Performance 200 for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Daytona International Speedway.
Curran started the race, and with steady precision worked his way through the field to run solidly in the top-10 before turning the car over to Aschenbach.
In the final laps of the race, an exciting battle for position developed between Aschenbach and John Edwards in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R that saw the pair of Chevy drivers swapping positions back and forth. On the last lap, Aschenbach made his final move to get by Edwards to claim fifth and sixth respectively in the final running order.
Edwards took over the No. 9 Camaro GS.R from co-driver Matt Bell who started the race from the seventh position on the grid. Bell maintained a consistent presence in the top-five until turning the car over to Edwards.
Ashley McCalmont and Bob Michaelian finished 17th in the No. 00 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R, and Lawrence Davey and Mike Skeen were 23rd in the final running order.
Eric Curran, No. 01 Cks Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Gs.R – Finished fifth
A really solid points day, what are your thoughts on the race? “Yeah, I mean I’m excited to be honest. A top-five here, we had a tough year last year here we finished 22nd after getting involved in a wreck.
So, to come out of here top-five with this Chevy Camaro, I’m really happy. Top-five is the best we can really do here.
This isn’t a Chevrolet Camaro type of track so I’m pumped and this puts us in a good point’s position. This is a good start to a good year so I’m really excited.”
Lawson Aschenbach, No. 01 Cks Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Gs.R – Finished fifth
Not the win that you wanted, but still a solid top-five how was your day? “I would say that it was very good. We kind of knew coming in that this might not be the best track for us, but to salvage a fifth-place, great points for us.
This is way better than we started last year. I’m very happy, very pleased with that. I really can’t say enough about everybody at Team Chevy and the CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R. it was flawless all weekend.
We had a really good car, we just knew we had to stay out of trouble, keep our nose clean and hopefully be in the right place at the right time. That is what looked like what happened today. I’m pretty pleased with the result.”
Matt Bell, No. 9 Stevenson Motorsport Camaro Gs.R. – Finished sixth
You had a very solid run which led to a solid points day. How was it from your perspective? “Honestly, you have to start off thanking the guys on the team.
Not just the Stevenson Motorsports GS team they did an incredible job, but the GT team as well because they really came in when our engine was… we had a little bit of a ‘car-b-que’ and our car was just a crisp.
They came in, and got that done in a day. They basically rebuilt the whole race car. So, big thanks to the team for making that happen. So not off to a good start early in the weekend. My stint was good.
It’s just ridiculous how much power they give them; in something like a Porsche that is also good on the infield how do they expect us to compete?
It’s a lot easier to pass with your foot to the floor on the oval than it is to out-brake somebody to try to pass them on the infield that doesn’t offer a whole lot of passing opportunities. My hope is some changes will be made.
That said, the Camaro did great. The guys estimated what the circuit was going to do as it heated up and they nailed it. I had a great race car my stint. I know John (Edwards) had a really great race car.
They called a really great strategy only doing two tires while everyone else did four. It brought us from basically a ninth-place to fourth-place in just one stop. They nailed it. The strategy was awesome.
Good start to the season, better than we have had ever before or maybe with the exception of one year. We are solid. We are in a really good place. We are happy with the way things happened.
We would have liked a couple of extra places on, but we are in a good place.”
John Edwards, No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Gs.R – Finished sixth
Tell me about your race... “I was expecting a top-10, but not really expecting a top-five. We were fighting with Lawson (Aschenbach) there at the end.
We had some great racing, but I made the wrong decision to stay in the lead with him as we exited the bus stop. I could see that he broke early for the bus stop to let me go ahead of him and draft by me about a line.
I knew as soon as we exited the bus stop and he had a good run that I was not going to hold that position by start/finish. I regret making that decision, but Lawson and I had some great racing.
Showed each other respect when we were side-by-side through a couple of corners, so it was pretty fun there at the end. Unfortunately, we just have a deficit to the Aston’s and the Porsche’s that we can’t overcome on the straight line.”
A good point’s day though a good way to leave here with some points and not have a hole to dig out of: “Absolutely, the past few years I’ve been with the team we have had issues whether it was avoiding a crash that made me loose about 10 spots last year or some issues the year before.
Even with that we have been able to content somewhat for the championship by the end of the year. It feels good to finally escape here with some points and know that we can fight for it later on in the year when we get to some tracks that our Camaro will have an advantage over the guys up front.”