Chevrolet takes DP and GT wins at Watkins Glen

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The Chevrolet teams were back on top in both Rolex classes this weekend.

ACTION EXPRESS RACING CORVETTE DP AND STEVENSON AUTO GROUP CAMARO GT TAKE WINS TO GIVE CHEVROLET THE VICTORY IN BOTH CLASSES

Race winners Joao Barbosa and Darren Law
Race winners Joao Barbosa and Darren Law

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – July 1, 2012 – Driving the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, Joao Barbosa held off Alex Gurney in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP to take the win and give Chevrolet a one-two finish today in the Rolex Sports Car Series at Watkins Glen International. In a thrilling finish to capture the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Barbosa caught Gurney in traffic with 20 minutes remaining and used lapped cars to his advantage throughout the stretch run, to take the victory by a slim .238 seconds.

It was the second victory of the campaign for Barbosa and teammate Darren Law, while Gurney and teammate Jon Fogarty remain in the hunt for their first victory of the year.

In the GT class, the action also went down to the wire with Robin Liddell holding off second place finisher Bill Auberien (BMW M3) by 1.340 seconds to give the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R co-driven by John Edwards its first victory of the season.

The win gave Action Express Racing the lead in the inaugural three-race North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com by two points over Starworks Motorsports, 28-26. GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is tied with Michael Shank Racing for fourth with 24 points. TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates is third with 25 points to round out the top five. The first endurance event was the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona, the second was the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen; leaving only the July 27 Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis to crown the winner with a $100,000 prize.

#57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R: John Edwards, Robin Liddell
#57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R: John Edwards, Robin Liddell

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

Stevenson took over the lead in the GT class with 29 points, five ahead of Magnus Racing (Porsche GT3 Cup) in second place.

“It was a great day today for Chevrolet in both classes,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Racing Road Racing Program Manager, ‘and congratulations go out to Action Express Racing, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and Stevenson Motorsports. The Six Hours of the Glen is always an exciting and challenging race for our teams in both Daytona Prototype (DP) and Grand Touring (GT), and today’s race was no exception. There is always drama (laughs) during the six hours. The No. 99 GAINSCO Corvette DP had electric power steering issues that the team was able to work around and still hold off the field for a solid second place finish. And in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT was able to beat several strong cars, which demonstrated their great execution with no errors to go the distance. We’re very pleased with the winning results of all our Team Chevy efforts in both classes.

“Chevrolet is in contention for the North American Endurance Championship as well, which would be something special to win. We’re going to catch a quick breath now before going to Indianapolis. The schedule has been so busy that the teams really haven’t been able to do their normal shop tear-down and prep, so it’s been a test of human endurance as well. But we’re up for the challenge, and are looking forward to going to the next three-hour sprint race at Indianapolis.”

John Edwards and Matt Bell continued their charge in Saturday’s Continental Tire 150 – Continental Sports Car Challenge at The Glen, with a fourth place finish in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R; and Tim Bell and Gunter Schaldach placed seventh in their No. 6 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R.

Next stop on the Road Racing tour will be its inaugural visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012.

POST RACE TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:

NO. 9 ACTION EXPRESS RACING – RACE WINNERS – DP

TAKE US BACK TO THOSE LAST 15 MINUTES THAT MOVE ON THE NO. 99 TALK ME THROUGH IT:

JOAO BARBOSA: “It was so competitive everybody had such a good pace and I saw an opportunity. I had to push a little bit. I saw an opportunity, the No. 99 got hold on traffic I thought it’s now or never. I went for the move. It was really clean racing. I’m really proud to be fighting with some of these drivers now-a-days. I’ve been unlucky in the past few races, but what can I say the Corvette was awesome during the whole race over six hours. These guys did an amazing job. Action Express put together a car that was unbelievable.”

THIS VICTORY IS GOING TO CLOSE DOWN IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP YOU GUYS TOOK MAXIMUM POINTS IN THE NORTH AMERICAN ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP TODAY AND IT’S GOING TO CLOSE DOWN THAT CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD IN DP (DAYTONA PROTOTYPE): DARREN LAW: “I don’t know what to say other than it’s so good. The guys work so hard and Joao (Barbosa) he’s the man, what a great final stint, great job. I just have to thank Chevy, Corvette, Action Express, everybody, ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) engines it has been a great weekend and it’s great for our points.”

NO. 57 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS – RACE WINNERS – GT

THIS ONE CAME DOWN TO TEAM WORK HOW PROUD ARE YOU OF YOUR GUYS?

ROBIN LIDDELL: “I’m so proud of the guys they did an awesome job today. I’m just really emotional because I’ve been fighting so hard this year. We just never seem to catch a break as it were; we have had solid results, but no real pace to get it done. John (Edwards) did an awesome job. We had no air conditions for the better part of the race. He stayed in there for two and a half to three hours just to make my stint a bit easier at the end. He did an awesome job. Congrats to all the guys, great strategy we finished with half a gallon. The BMW pushed us hard as did a lot of other cars today. didn’t make it easy for us giving us a stop/go and really I think there was a wreck on the front straight or the beginning of one. We should have gotten away with that, but anyway we came back. We had a strong car thanks to Chevy; Stevenson Motorsports the Camaro was awesome today.”

AFTER A DAY OF SO MUCH STRUGGLES, SO MUCH FIGHTING, SO MUCH COMPETITION HOW REWARDING IS IT TO BE STANDING IN VICTORY LANE?

JOHN EDWARDS: “I can’t even describe it. It’s been a really tough race and it’s been actually a really tough past few races. We have come away with some good results, but the win is always just alluded us. For whatever reason it has always fallen away and on that last lap I don’t think I have ever been more nervous in my life when Robin (Liddell) said fuel reserve with about two and a half laps to go. We weren’t sure we were going to make it. When he came out of the last corner it all just went away and all the nervousness went away. Congratulations to this Stevenson team. They have done an incredible job fighting back from some penalties and strategy calls that we’re not sure were correct, but they have done an incredible job to get us back to the front.”

No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP – Finished Second

THE RED DRAGON BACK ON IT TODAY, I’M LOOKING AT ALEX GURNEY’S BACK IT LOOKS LIKE THE MONKEY IS GONE, CONGRATULATIONS AFTER THE LUCK THAT YOU GUYS HAVE HAD WHAT A RACE THERE AT THE END WHAT A GREAT COMPLIMENT FROM JOAO BARBOSA TO SAY IT WAS FUN TO RACE WITH SOMEBODY YOU COULD ACTUALLY RACE WITH:

ALEX GURNEY: “I wouldn’t say the monkey is gone. I feel like it’s still there that was pretty disappointing because the car was so good. I just caught a GT (car) at precisely the wrong point and Joao (Barbosa) put a nice move on and that was it.”

Source: Team Chevy Racing

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Series GRANDAM
Article type Race report
Tags action express, barbosa, camaro, corvette, edwards, gurney, liddell, stallings, stevenson