Stevenson Motorsports To Race A Pontiac and A Corvette At Rolex 24; New Team Logos And New Stevenson Performance Shop Ready For 2009 The Stevenson Motorsports team is pleased to announce their car and driver lineup for the Rolex 24 Hours at...
Stevenson Motorsports To Race A Pontiac and A Corvette At Rolex 24; New Team Logos And New Stevenson Performance Shop Ready For 2009
The Stevenson Motorsports team is pleased to announce their car and driver lineup for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the opening round of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16. Daytona International Speedway will see the return of the No 57 Pontiac GXP.R that finished second in the overall GT class driver and team championships last year. This race also marks the return of the No 97 Chevrolet Corvette, a fast racecar that seeks another opportunity to show its potential. The tested and durable Crawford built Corvette is definitely considered a dark horse candidate for a podium placing
In a closely contested season-long battle in the GT class last year, drivers Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis collected a number of wins and finished on the podium nine times in the No 57 Pontiac GXP.R. For 2009, this successful pairing will once again chase the championship with an able assist at Daytona coming from veteran racer Jeff Bucknum.
Andrew Davis: "I'm thrilled to be back with Stevenson Motorsports for the 2009 season. We had a great season last year, in which we really displayed the ultimate potential of the team. With all of the core team members returning, we are looking forward to building on last season's momentum with the sole objective of capturing the Rolex GT championship."
Team Manager Mike Johnson: "We had a very successful test in January and while the Pontiac has never been very fast at Daytona, if we can keep it out of pit lane we should be a strong contender for the podium. Jeff has fit right in with Robin and Andrew and our crew is relatively unchanged from last year so we should be in a better position now that our guys have had a year to familiarize themselves with the car. Grand-Am made some rule changes last year to help the Porsches and Mazda's and that's most relevant when we come to Daytona. If they have perfect races, we can't do anything to beat them, but our 9 podiums last year proved we are always there when they hand out the money."
Davis: "We have made a lot progress with the BryanMark Financial Pontiac GXP.R during the recent test days at Daytona. So, the team is entering the Rolex 24 with the confidence of having a strong and reliable car that will be good for the long haul. This will be my third Rolex 24 running under the guidance of Mike Johnson, and I can't think of anyone else I would rather have calling such a grueling event. Our focus will remain on staying out of trouble, in order to leave something left for the inevitable battle in the waning hours of the race."
Robin Liddell: "Daytona is still one of the great endurance races which every sportscar driver wants to win. The combination of the high banked oval with the tight and tricky infield section makes it a great challenge.
"We're a second or so off the pace of the Porsches and Mazda's at Daytona which is mainly due to weight and high drag but we are not worried. With a smart approach, good pit work from the crew and a little good fortune we will be up in the top three by dawn. When you are in a Porsche you tend to push from the start and control the pace of the race from there but in our case we will try to play more to our strengths and let the race come to us."
The No 97 Stevenson Corvette will be driven in the 24 hours by James Gue, Tom Long, Ryan Eversley and Galen Beiker. Johnson is convinced the outright speed of the Corvette will be amply demonstrated on the banking at Daytona, perhaps surprising some people.
Johnson: "I don't think the Corvette is presently on anyone's radar because it has never shown its true potential, but I have a feeling this year could be different. It was very fast in the July race and Michael Gue has had 3 months to make further improvements so it should be strong. And while we don't have any 'superstars' of Motorsports behind the wheel, the guys driving the car are as good as anyone in the field and have proven to be very fast and very consistent. If there's a dark horse for the race, it's definitely the 97 car."
Over the winter, the Jacksonville, North Carolina based Stevenson team made a number of changes designed to set them on the road to the championship and position them as a top level resource for those who like to get the most performance possible from their cars. Among these changes are new team logos, which will appear on their new High Tech transporter for the first time at Daytona, and a new revised website that will also highlight both the race team and the new performance racing shop that has just been opened in Jacksonville. The shop services both cars and trucks offering performance and aftermarket options for the Stevenson Automotive Group and retail customers.