Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
New Stevenson Camaro GT.R Finishes Fourth in Only Second Race Team is getting new chassis 009 up to speed
After a huge crash at Watkins Glen, the Stevenson Motorsports team elected to run a new chassis at Road America for the seventh race of the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 season. The car was fast its first time out and if not for being crashed into a competitor, it may very well have finished on the podium. This weekend, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, for race number eight, the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R driven by Robin Liddell and Ronnie Bremer just missed a podium finish, coming home in fourth place.
Team Manager Mike Johnson: “In a weird sort of way, this was kind of a victory, but only because we've been having so much bad luck recently. This is the first finish with our new car, and fourth isn't horrible. In the end, the car was quick and reliable, but the Mazda’s and the No. 59 Brumos Porsche car were all faster than us, so fourth was the best we were going to do.”
Liddell too noted that the other GT cars had the outright speed at this race and even with great pit work and no one crashing into them this time out, coming so close to a podium is in itself a good reward.
Liddell: “We had a pretty good race considering all the misfortune and problems we have had of late. The car ran well, the guys executed well on the pit stops, there were no on track incidents and so I agree with Mike that a fourth place finish was the best we could do today against the stronger Mazda’s and Porsches. We did struggle a little bit for rear grip especially off the slow corners but that was mostly down to the poor grip offered by the tire.”
A race without drama has probably never been run. With good fortune the drama episodes are short and not too painful. Liddell reflects on where the team experienced drama in this race.
“We lost some positions in the first pit stop as we had to push the car back to reach the fuel hose,” Liddell said, “and during that middle stint we just tried to save fuel as we were short, but when the caution came out that secured it so we were able to push to the end.
“After the restart we got by the No. 31 Corvette although he was a bit quicker and would go on to pass me again a few laps later. On the last lap I was closing on the now- ailing car and I managed to pass him to pick up fourth place as we went into the Corkscrew. All in all the car performed well and we were able to race hard and clean with a number of cars, but we were not strong enough for the podium.”
Johnson: “We still have quite a bit of work to do to get this No. 57 as fast as our old No. 57, but when we do, I think we'll be tough to beat.”
After Laguna Seca, Stevenson Motorsports stands in 10th place in the season’s GT Team Championship. Robin Liddell is in 18th place in the Drivers Championship and Chevrolet is in 3rd place in the Manufacturers Championship.
By: stevenson motorsports