Curran P2 in Continental Tire GS qualifying for CKS Autosport; Stevenson entries P4 and P5.
SEBRING, Fla. – Just two races into its debut season – and on its first time out Sebring International Raceway – the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R has notched its first front-row starting spot in the Continental Sports Car Championship. Eric Curran qualified P2 in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro for Friday’s second round of the Continental Tire series as three of the Z/28.R race cars finished the session in the top-five.
Matt Bell was fourth at 2:16.616 (98.554 mph) in Stevenson Motorsports’ No. 9 Camaro that he drives with Andy Lally.
Andrew Davis, in the No. 6 Stevenson Camaro he shares with Robin Liddell, was fifth with a best lap of 2:16.628 (98.545 mph).
Trent Hindman was the fastest GS qualifier at 2:15.947 (99.039 mph) in a BMW M3.
Friday’s two-and-a-half-hour race is set for 1 p.m. ET.
ERIC CURRAN, NO. 01 CKS AUTOSPORT CAMARO Z/28.R (Camaro Z/28.R development): “Our Team Chevy and CKS Autosport guys – Kirk Spencer and all his boys – have been working really hard on this car. We came to Daytona with a car that was a week old and fought a lot with it there – like anyone else does with a new race car. But there has been quite a bit more work done on the car in the last month-and-a-half. We’re getting it into a better race car – more consistent and all the hard work is paying off.”
(His qualifying run) “I put down a flyer of a lap and dropped two wheels in the dirt but kept it all together. I’m really happy for that and everyone at Team Chevy. This Camaro Z/28.R is awesome.
“We’re a little concerned how this car will be on a long run. We just have Daytona on it. Continental cars haven’t run here at Sebring for years. Hopefully it’s not too hard on the rear tires. That’s our main concern.”
MATT BELL, NO. 9 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z/28.R (His qualifying run): “The strategy was to do a pretty short run in qualifying. We have to use the same tires for the start of the race that we use in qualifying. For these tires on this track, they are probably already well degraded with this heat cycle on them. We're going to start off the race well slower than we finished that session. Some of our competitors are in much lighter cars so they won't be as hard on their tires in general but the strategy is that they will run out of tire halfway through their stint.”
(Continuing development) “The Camaro is great; we haven't had too much time … just tuning. We're still developing for the most part; we still have a lot of stuff that we're just checking off the list as far as getting it all to work as we expect it to work. The last couple sessions are the only time we've spent hunting down performance. But every time we make a change the car is better so that's the direction you want to go. We're in a great place for the race. As long as we keep it clean, we're in a great place with both cars.”
ANDREW DAVIS, NO. 6 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z/28.R (His qualifying effort): “The Stevenson Motorsports crew works non-stop. Along with the guys at Chevrolet and Pratt & Miller, we’ve all have been putting our heads together to try and improve this program. That’s how well we work together. For me personally, I try to get faster every time I get in the car. The car is a pleasure to drive. The Camaro Z/28.R is just really fun. It’s good all around. It’s all the things I remember about Pratt & Miller race cars. We found good time in qualifying. There was probably a little bit left out there; I made a mistake on the first lap that cost me a little bit of time. The second lap was pretty good and I’m happy with that.”
(Challenges of the track): “Sebring is such a difficult circuit. Not only is it long with a lot of different corners, the surface makes it very quickly. There is cement, asphalt, sealer... you have to deal with that. We’re all fighting for grip, and rear grip will be at a premium at the end of a stint. We’ve been trying to make the car quick on a given lap but at the same time we have to look at the big picture. We have to race this car for two-and-a-half hours tomorrow.”