Stevenson Camaro Celebrates Victory Number Three In Canada
Montreal once again welcomes this American Team to victory lane
The Stevenson Motorsports team hails from Jacksonville, North Carolina in the USA but this team LOVES Montreal, Quebec, Canada! At the Montreal 200, the penultimate race of the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 season, the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R led 50 laps to take the team’s second win this year. (They also led over 50 laps at the race prior to this one, at Watkins Glen.) Last year at this race, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Stevenson team had two cars finish on the podium and in both 2009 and 2008 they came home victorious. That makes 3 wins and 4 podiums in 4 races.
Obviously we are super happy with the result.
Hooray pour Montréal!
As planned, Robin Liddell was teamed with Ronnie Bremer for this race (Jan Magnussen had another racing obligation elsewhere) and together they split the 50 laps led with 27 to Liddell’s credit and 23 for Bremer. Liddell had the last stint and he held off a hard charging Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 70 MazdaSpeed / Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 to win by just .289 seconds. The effort was made even more difficult when Liddell ran wide with just a few corners to go and Bomarito pulled up alongside him. Liddell was not about to let this win slip away so he quickly brought the Camaro back on line and resumed his position ahead of the Mazda. That is how they crossed the line as well, with Bomarito’s fire-belching Mazda unable to pass in the last few feet before the finish line.
Liddell: “I was under a lot of pressure from the No. 70 Mazda; they were able to get off the slow corners a little better but the Camaro is so good on the brakes that it was going to be very hard for them to pass us. Obviously we are super happy with the result. Last weekend at the Glen was another to forget but fortunately it was followed quite quickly by another, much more successful one! The team performed very well again, and although we lost a little time in the first stop the second, more crucial one went without a hitch and we were able to maintain the lead until the end.”
After a driveline failure took the No. 57 Camaro out of the lead in Watkins Glen – with just 20 or so minutes to go – the win here in Montreal went a long way towards building the confidence of this team that a world of opportunity awaits for the remainder of this season and all of the 2012 season to come.
Team Manager Mike Johnson: “After the heartbreak at the Glen last weekend, I think this win really show's the strength of this team in the way we were all able to keep pushing and get our second win of the season. This is the first win for our new car, and what a relief it was. For the second race in a row our pit stops were the best in the field and kept us in the lead through both stops. Saying that though, this race was a lot more about the great job the driver's did. Ronnie lost his father on Sunday and took the lead on the first lap and never looked back. Robin had the #70 never more than 3.4 seconds behind and had to keep them there for an hour and twenty minutes. We had a great set-up, great pits stops and once again we did everything right, but the driver's really made us look good today. “
Bremer expressed his appreciation for having been invited to be a contributor to the team’s second win, which came just days after a personal tragedy. “I got a really good start and was in second place after the first corner and in front a few turns later.” Bremer said, “The team gave us a good car and although we were not the fastest car we won with good teamwork and Robin ran a really good stint that carried us to the win. It has been a tough week for both me and the team. They lost the victory at Watkins Glen last weekend and I lost my father on Sunday. It was good for us all to finally succeed.”
Liddell: “The last two weekends have seen a lot of green flag racing and this has favored the all professional driver lineups. Ronnie opened with a great stint getting into the lead on lap one and from there, although it appeared that we were not ultimately the fastest car, we had opened a small advantage which set us up for the win.
This team has weathered the days of broken parts and bruised hearts this season, but there can be no denying that heart still beats to be the best.
“Whilst we are out of the team and driver’s championships (for 2011),” said Liddell, “it was a good day for Chevrolet and needless to say we will be going all out to help them win the manufacturer’s title at Mid-Ohio.”
Johnson: “As noted, this is our third win in four races at Montreal and we had a 2nd/3rd with two cars last year, so we love racing here. The best thing is that Montreal is such a great place to celebrate and after the season we have had, I think there might be a few missed flights in the morning!”
Even with this second win this season, Stevenson Motorsports remains in 10th place in the season’s GT Team Championship. The win did help Chevrolet move up from 3rd place to 2nd place in the Manufacturers Championship. Robin Liddell also moved up one place in the Drivers Championship where he sits currently in the15th spot.