Watkins Glen International
Stevenson Camaro GT.R Knocked Out By Skidding Prototype At The Glen
DP spins right in front of Liddell and the two collide, destroying front end of both cars
Coming off the team’s first win this season at Lime Rock Park less than one week ago, spirits were high in the Stevenson Motorsports team at the start of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen this past weekend. The sixth round of the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 season should have been a ripe opportunity to build on last week’s success. Instead, the rains came down at the start and with just a few laps run at speed a Daytona Prototype lost control on the wet track. His spin took him across the track and put him right in front of the GT leading No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R driven by Robin Liddell. Contact was immediate and certain as Liddell had no place to go but head on into the right front side of the prototype. The crash caused major damage to both cars.
Robin Liddell and Jan Magnussen took a convincing win in steaming heat and humidity at Lime Rock but this time the rains were in charge and instead of a run to the front, Liddell was forced to wait for the tow truck to bring him back to the paddock for repairs.
"I saw the Starworks (Daytona Prototype) car spinning," said Liddell. "I lifted and thought it was going to the inside and then it came back in front of me. I had no where to go, unfortunately."
Once it was determined the engine did not overheat due to damage to the radiator, the team never gave a thought to not going back out on track. After several hours lost to front end repairs, they did just that, looking to salvage valuable driver points for Liddell.
Magnussen, Liddell’s regular co-driver, was not with the team this weekend and Ronnie Bremer, their driving partner at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona at the start of the season, was on hand in his stead. Unfortunately, Bremer never got a chance to be in the car.
When Liddell went back out after the make-do repairs, he was in last place in GT, 69 laps off the pace of the leaders. As the minutes melted away, so did some of the cars ahead of him. With the Stevenson Chevrolet Camaro running laps just to secure driver points for Liddell, and not running at its full potential due to the damages, the team elected to exit the contest after completing just 28 laps. They were credited with a 15th place finish.
Team Manager Mike Johnson: “Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you are the bug. Today we were both. Not much to say about this one. Started second, took the lead in the rain by the end of the first lap. Robin hit a spinning DP four laps later. The crew did an amazing job over the next three hours rebuilding the front of the car so Robin and the team could get points. Once we realized we could get 15th, we ran another 20 laps and parked it. ”
In the three races prior to the six hours, the team had made significant progress improving their overall finishing position in each subsequent race. The accident reversed that trend but there are still six more races to go which presents a half a season of opportunity for Liddell and Magnussen and the entire Stevenson team to climb back up in the point standings. One thing is certain; the other teams in the GT field know the Stevenson team will be in the hunt for a podium placing in each and every race yet to come.
Johnson: “We are sending the car on to Pratt & Miller in Detroit for repairs and the team will head to Road America to be ready for the next race on June 24th.”
The next race on the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 schedule will be on June 26th at the Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
-source: stevenson motorsports