Stevenson Motorsports Team press release
Stevenson Camaro Ends Tough Season With Win Number Three
In late season romance with positive fate, team wins back to back races
In a season that saw the Stevenson Motorsports Team struggle to stay out of harm’s way without always succeeding in doing so, the last race of 2011 marked the team’s third triumph over adversity in the ultra competitive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 season. The team came into Mid-Ohio with a win in the prior race under their belt. With a head start in Mid Ohio - courtesy of Ronnie Bremer’s having won the pole position - he and Robin Liddell kept up the pace throughout a race that included over a dozen caution periods to bring their No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R across the finish line first, just a few feet ahead of a hard charging Mazda. The win clinched the Engine Manufacturer’s Championship for Chevrolet.
Team Manager Mike Johnson: “It sure feels great ending the season with two wins, but we all can't help thinking about what could have been this year. Most wins, most poles, most laps led, but we simply could not overcome the part failures, accidents and everything else that seemed to go wrong when things were looking so good. When you look at our stats, it's hard to imagine we finished 9th in points, but they don't give a lot of points for DNF's!”
Robin Liddell too felt this up and down season ended on as high a note as was possible.
“It was a great way to end the year,” Liddell said, “especially as we managed to help secure the manufacturer’s championship for Chevrolet with the Camaro at this last race. We needed to beat the Mazdas to do that as we came into the last race one point behind and for much of the race it looked as though it was beyond a reality but we just kept our heads down, fought forward and managed to take advantage of others mistakes, several collisions, and the opportunities presented to us on the restarts. One by one we picked off the cars ahead so that in the end we were able to make it two in a row and get the Camaro back up on top.”
In a series that demands consistency if a team is to have any hope of winning a championship, the Stevenson Team found they lacked that essential element in the results column but never was a consistent effort to persevere and keep moving forward lacking by the team.
Liddell: “Obviously it has been a disappointing season for us but critically, the Stevenson Motorsports team has never given up and just kept regrouping and believing in themselves that they could get the job done despite the challenges, and with both the unwavering faith shown by John and Susan and the hard work by the guys at the shop, we have again shown that the team is one of the top teams in GT.”
Johnson too could not be prouder of what his team accomplished through their unwavering commitment to continue on with an optimistic resolve despite the setbacks that occurred on track.
Johnson: “I am very proud of our team and despite the obstacles placed in our path this season we still ended up winning the manufacturers championship for Chevrolet, which feels great. We never gave up and our drivers were able to find a little something extra when they needed it. As usual, our pit stops were fantastic all year and we had some great performances.”
Liddell: “I want to thank my teammates Jan and Ronnie who have both driven superbly which is especially hard when you are not in the car every weekend. They kept me honest and had the car at the sharp end all the time. Also I want to thank Chevrolet for their support and assistance throughout and for providing us with such great product. Given this team’s spirit and drive I am sure they will be back in 2012 and this time surely they will bring home the bacon!” Johnson: “We have a very busy off season with testing and putting our original No. 57 chassis back together after the Watkins Glen crash - to get it ready for Daytona. This means the guys will get a very little break this winter, if they get one at all!
“I think I speak for the whole team,” Johnson continued, “when I say thank you to GM Racing and John and Susan Stevenson for allowing us to do what we do and for always keeping the faith in us when things didn't go well. We could not do any of this without them.” Season ending championship stats: - The Stevenson Motorsports team completed the GT Team Championship standings in a tie for 9th place with Banner Racing.
- Robin Liddell finished 15th in the GT Driver’s Championship. Ronnie Bremer finished in 28th place and Jan Magnussen finished in 30th place. Both Bremer and Magnussen split the driving duties because of other season commitments and so they did not have as many opportunities to score points as did Liddell.
- Thanks in great measure to the Stevenson Team’s three wins; Chevrolet won the Engine Manufacturer’s Championship, just nipping Mazda by two points.
The GRAND-AM teams are expected to participate in several testing sessions prior to the first race of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 season - the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The first test session will take place the weekend of October 17 – 18 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. There will also be test sessions held at Daytona in both November and December.