Stevenson Team Puts New Pontiac GXP-R On Track At Daytona Test Days Pratt & Miller Constructed Race Car Proudly Wears An Eagle To Honor America It was a good weekend to be in Florida for the Stevenson Motorsports Team as they took to the...
Stevenson Team Puts New Pontiac GXP-R On Track At Daytona Test Days
Pratt & Miller Constructed Race Car Proudly Wears An Eagle To Honor America
It was a good weekend to be in Florida for the Stevenson Motorsports Team as they took to the track for the very first time in their brand new Pontiac GXP-R. The #57 Pontiac GXP-R, sponsored by the BryanMark Financial Group, was picked up from the Pratt and Miller race shops just a few days before the Daytona tests and -- fully adorned with the All-American paint scheme the car will wear this season -- the new car had team members smiling right out of the box.
Team Manager Mike Johnson: "I am very pleased with the test and the way the car ran and how well the team worked together. We knew we would have a slow car due to the high speeds of Daytona, so we just concentrated on de-bugging the car and working through any potential problems."
Johnson is looking ahead to qualifying for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Rolex 24 at Daytona with minimal expectations of setting the track ablaze. But in a 24 hour race it isn't enough to be fast at the start, you have to last.
"I expect a top 15 in qualifying which is nothing to write home about, but for us, our concerns are on the finish and that is what we are working on."
Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis will co-drive the #57 Pontiac GXP-R during the regular season and will be joined by Randy Pobst and Gunnar Jeanette for the Rolex 24. Liddell came away from his first outing with his new team with a strong sense of anticipation for what was to come.
"I think the test was very successful, especially given that the car had not turned a wheel before arriving at Daytona. It is a credit to the Stevenson team and all the guys at Pratt and Miller for putting together a car which ran so well over the three days. The quality of engineering on the car is very high, as you would expect, and it is very adjustable and reactive to change. The tires also performed well giving a good level of grip and durability. This was my first time running on Pirellis since 2005 and they performed as well as I remember."
Davis too came away from this first 'trial by tire' with a similar level of enthusiasm about the teams prospects in the GT class in 2008.
"I agree with Robin. Our initial test of the new Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP-R went really well. I was very impressed with this race car, and it was exciting to get the car on the track for the first time. Pratt and Miller have built an exceptional race car. It was great right out of the box, and we were able to quickly learn how nicely the car responds to changes.
"And I am equally excited to be a part of the Stevenson Motorsports team this season. There is a very cohesive personality to this team, and everyone is eager make things happen."
Obviously the Stevenson team did not have the Daytona circuit to themselves this past weekend. And the strong showing by several other GT teams clarified in no uncertain terms just how difficult it will be for a new car to make an immediate impact. Davis concurs.
"It is obviously going to be a very tough season due in no small part to the pace shown by the Porsches and the Mazda's in particular. That said, we managed to gather quite a lot of data on the car, and everyone had a chance to get comfortable. Despite the odds for a new car in its maiden season, I am really looking forward to the Rolex 24 and to the rest of the season."