John Edwards is 4th driver in GRAND-AM history to win both races on the same day.
Atlanta, Ga. – Stevenson Motorsports rewrote the record books on Saturday at Road Atlanta, winning the PWC 250 in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition with drivers John Edwards and Matt Bell, and then following that up with a big victory in the Visual Studio Ultimate Grand Prix in Rolex Sports Car Series competition with Edwards and Robin Liddell driving the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R.Ferrari to emerge with the race victory.
The team achievement also ushered in new benchmarks for several individuals who combined for the victory. The win is the 50th GRAND-AM or American Le Mans Series victory for Mike Johnson as a team manager or owner and is the 15th Rolex Series win for Stevenson Motorsports.
The victory is the 20th Rolex Series triumph for Liddell, and it marks just the fourth time in GRAND-AM history that a driver has won both the Rolex Series and Continental Tire Challenge races on the same day, as young Edwards notched the GRAND-AM double.
“This is most definitely my best day in the sport,” said team owner John Stevenson. “It’s our first sweep, and it makes it two Rolex wins in a row, so it’s awesome for the guys and Chevrolet, and Camaro, and GM racing. Plus, it’s our first trip here, to Road Atlanta. I guess we decided we liked this place!”
“Obviously another win for the team—two weekends, back-to-back—I’m really happy and they got the double today with the GS race,” said Liddell. “To be honest, it was a team, and pit, and strategy effort. We didn’t have the quickest car—it really came down to strategy and getting ahead of those guys, taking some advantage, and for them to try to jump back ahead. Overall, I'm really happy. It's quite an intense track to drive around under green for basically two hours, so it was pretty hard from my point of view, and we struggled for grip—but overall, a great result.”
“It was a great day,” said Johnson. “Like last weekend at Barber, we didn’t come in thinking we would do very well in either class. The GS car struggled all weekend. I don’t think we ever cracked the top-10 in practice. We didn’t even put on new tires until the race. We got to start up front because of points, because we’ve been having a good year, and Matt (Bell) kept it up front, and John (Edwards) kept it up front, and it was a great race.
“And in GT, we knew we were going to struggle on the back straight—we couldn’t pass anybody. So the goal, always, was get to the front, to find any way possible to get to the front. So we went to an alternate strategy which gave us better tires than the competitors, so that when they pitted, we had a 12 second gap on them, and we just sort of stayed with that, short-pitting everything, and able to keep the lead, and then Robin did an awesome job, keeping it in front, so it was a good day."
“Finally conquered the double!” said Edwards in victory lane. “It feels really good. I was struggling to watch the race at the end. I happened to see that there were 22 minutes left, and it was the longest 22 minutes I’ve ever had to experience. Robin did a fantastic job and the team made a great call with strategy and it worked out perfectly. The last four races we’ve competed in, we’ve had three wins and a second, just an incredible run!”
The team will be back in action for the Chevrolet Grand Prix in Detroit May 31-June 2.