Stevenson Pontiac Crosses The Bricks At Indy Grand-Am Special Test Session Hosts DP and GT Teams At The Brickyard "That was one of the neatest things I've ever done. It was a lot of fun. It was cool, going though the banking coming into Turn 1...
Stevenson Pontiac Crosses The Bricks At Indy
Grand-Am Special Test Session Hosts DP and GT Teams At The Brickyard
"That was one of the neatest things I've ever done. It was a lot of fun. It was cool, going though the banking coming into Turn 1 and coming down the front straight was quite a thrill!"
Who said that? Was it Andrew Davis or Robin Liddell, the regular co-drivers in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports / BryanMark Financial Pontiac GXP.R? Nope. It was none other than Stevenson Team Manager Mike Johnson! He completed five fairly quick laps around the vaunted Indianapolis Speedway circuit just to -- you know -- audit the capabilities of his drivers (or something like that). It had nothing to do - we are sure - with simply wanting to add a few laps at Indy to his racing career or simply air out his long dormant driving suit. No, those can't be the reasons.
Whatever prompted him to drive, team owner John Stevenson learned something from the experience of having his team manager at the wheel. "When I found out Mike was in the car I learned I could hold my breath for five laps! I sure am glad that's over!"
In a serious vein, Johnson appreciated the significance of bringing the Stevenson crew to a circuit at which so many years of racing history have been written.
"It doesn't matter who you are and whether you work on, under or in a race car,'" he said, "you always want the opportunity to go to Indy. Hopefully, Grand-Am and IMS can make that dream a reality for all of us next year and let us put on a great show."
Grand-Am reported that "Nine Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 teams participated in the test, which included a pair of two-hour sessions. While the bulk of the time was spent on the 2.534-mile, 13-turn Formula One road course, teams also spent a short time on the modified 2.621-mile, 16-turn MotoGP layout."
While no official announcement has yet been made about a possible 2010 race date at this most historic racing venue, the drivers who participated in the tests certainly came away thinking it could -- and probably should -- happen.
Davis: "The course is a blast! Right now, it's pretty green because no one's been on it for a long time, so the grip level is low in the infield. The high speed stuff is a kick. It's really fast and really fun. You get a good run down the front straight into turn one. There are some good heavy brake zones, and I think it's going to be good for racing."
Liddell on testing and the future: "At the end of the day, it's a great opportunity to be here. It's history here. It's special. Everybody knows this place; it's globally known, not just here in the U.S. It's a big deal. But at the same point and time, we owe it to ourselves and our fans to come here and put on a good event. I think there's a lot of enthusiasm here at this point and time. We also need to be pragmatic and deal with any issues that we find. The reasons we're here today for are just that. We're not here to stir up anything. We're here to establish what we need, that way we can come back here and put on a good show."
""We're certainly very happy to be here. Liddell continued, "We hope we can put on a good event here. There is already a lot of interest here today from the fans over there on the grass banks watching the cars. They seem to be enjoying the cars and so on. They've seen it on TV, and they known that we put on a good show."
That third Stevenson jockey, a certain Mr. Johnson, came away from the tests with a smile as wide as the business end of a Porsche, oops, make that a Pontiac. But his driving suit will soon be back in the closet.
Johnson: "As for me driving again in the near future--..I think I like my seat on the engineer stand."
The next race on the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 will be the 11th of the season with the series moving to Tooele, Utah at Miller Motorsports Park. There is just one more race after Miller to wrap up the 2009 season.