GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series At the Continental 150 at Watkins Glen this past weekend - the sixth round of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series - the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Sunoco-Camaro ...
GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series
At the Continental 150 at Watkins Glen this past weekend - the sixth round of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series - the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Sunoco-Camaro GS.R, driven by Hugh Plumb and Craig Stone came home in fourth place. After running in the top five, the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Sunoco-Camaro GS.R, driven by Matt Bell and Jeff Bucknum, was put out of contention when it was involved in an accident.
Team Manager Mike Johnson: "I really thought today was going to be our day. Right before the accident with the No. 6 car, I felt so confident we would get two cars on the podium. The team and the drivers have really come together since we finally got the gearboxes to work and it has really shown.
"At the last stop, with Hugh in the No. 9 car, we dropped a bunch of spots in the pits due to our slow fuel delivery time and he had to really drive through the pack to get that 4th place. He did an awesome job."
Plumb: "This was one of those races I wished there were a couple more laps. We had a problem with the fuel delivery taking more time to fill the car than it should have. Coming out of pit lane we ended up in fourteenth, and this after Craig Stone did a great job bringing me a clean car that he had moved forward a bunch of positions.
"At this point I had approximately an hour and forty minutes to get to the front. Given that this was a race filled with three yellows, that didn't give us a whole lot of time to do what we needed to do. This meant that on every lap I needed to take as many opportunities to move forward as I could. After the last full course yellow, there was approximately fifteen minutes to go and we were in sixth. I had a faster car than the top five cars and I got around two more to end up fourth. I feel I simply ran out of time to improve further, with the race ending under a full course yellow.
"The Stevenson guys did a great job. The Camaro has come a long way since the beginning of the year. This is a true testament to the team with a brand new car at the beginning of the year, now being able to race at the front of the field. This requires a team of talent and that is what we have. Every practice, every race this car continues to get better."
Stone: "I too can't say enough about the team at Stevenson Motorsports and the work and effort they put into all our cars. The setup again was right on by Larry Hahn and Greg Jones, and Mike Johnson called a perfect race for us in the No. 9 Stevenson Sunoco Camaro. Hugh Plumb really drove the wheels off the car coming up through the field twice after pit stops and the issues with our fueling rig."
Stone was behind the wheel for the green flag and he soon found his competition had him surrounded by the time they got to the first turn.
"The start was a little wild with cars all over the place into turn one -- luckily we were able to fight our way down to the inside and get a good run into the esses and pick up a few spots on the first lap. Traffic was difficult throughout my stint but manageable.
"My goal was to deliver Hugh a good car for the finish and gain a few positions in my run. We didn't have any real issues with the way the car was running and while I am happy for our result, I still want to see Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson get that podium! With Al Carter and Hugh Plumb driving the rest of the season I expect it will happen. Again, many thanks to all at Stevenson Motorsports for the opportunity to drive the car this year."
The No. 9 Sunoco Camaro suffered a fast disagreement with a guardrail and soon the suspense of a possible high finish evaporated with a crunch of the suspension. A hard charging drive to the front went off track with a bang.
Bucknum: "We had another great weekend that ended poorly. Matt did a great job qualifying the car and starting it up front. On the first lap, Matt spun the car in the bus stop trying to avoid another car that had spun right in front of him. "
Bell: "An M3 spun in front of me in the bus stop and I was left with few options but to slow down. The caboose on our train didn't get the brake light message and hit me quite hard, sending me spinning off track. I then had the familiar job of playing catch-up!"
Bucknum: "Once Matt got going again, he found himself in 19th position and it was a lot of work to get back up front. As usual he drove a great race and got the car all the way back up to 4th position before handing it off to me. I came back out after our pit-stop driver change in 9th position knowing we had a good car. I quickly worked my way back up to the 4th spot and set the 2nd fastest race lap along the way.
"I knew then that we had a winning car and I was getting anxious to move up to first. I started pushing harder and harder setting up the third place car for a pass. As we went through the esses, I let my car run too wide and I hit the guard rail making contact with the right rear of the car. I broke the rear suspension. The crew fixed it quickly but the stop put us four laps down.
"I am very disappointed that I broke our car like that after all the hard work Matt and the crew had done to get our car in a position for a win. I want to thank our engineer Greg Jones for giving us such a great car and I hope to redeem myself at Mid-Ohio for the whole team and Johnny and Susan Stevenson, the best team owners in the paddock. I also want to congratulate Craig Stone and Hugh Plumb for a great 4th place finish in the No. 9 car."
Johnson: "We have some repairs to make to the cars this week which is no big deal in Continental Tire racing, but we are now going to have to work on the details and fuel delivery if we are going to be ready to win."
Bucknum and Bell are currently in 9th place in the Drivers Championship. Plumb is in 15th place.
The next race on the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series schedule will be on June 19th at Mid-Ohio.