Stevenson Corvette Endures Over 1000K -- And The 2007 Season The 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Reserves came to an end this past weekend with the running of the Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park. For...
Stevenson Corvette Endures Over 1000K -- And The 2007 Season
The 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Reserves came to an end this past weekend with the running of the Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park. For the #57 Stevenson Motorsports Corvette team, the last race found them struggling with a gearbox issue that cost them seven laps to the leaders. In the end, the red, white and blue Chevrolet Corvette driven by Marc Bunting and Dominic Cicero, finished 15th in the GT class and 32nd overall.
Team Manager Mike Johnson looked back over the season and found that progress had been made and 2008 could see this team placing on a podium.
"I was very happy with the performance of the team through the course of the season, and I expect some very good things for 2008. While (at this race) our car was not the fastest we have had it all year, it was the most consistent, and the best we have seen it on tires, with the fastest laps of the stint being towards the end. I was also very pleased with our pit stops, and the speed the crew worked to fix the gearbox, losing only 7 laps.
"The unfortunate part of the whole season is having so many potential top 5 finishes that we never closed on leaving the team with a lot of heartache. If we can stop the mistakes on and off the track, and get a little luck on our side, I know we can be contenders in this series."
Bunting is a fan of the long 4.5 mile Miller circuit, located in Tooele, Utah, adjacent to Tooele County's Desert Peak Recreation Complex, and about 35 minutes from Salt Lake City. He calls it a "world class facility."
His comments on the car and the team's efforts this season seem to mirror those of Johnson.
"The car was quick and consistent throughout the race. We were able to run consistent times throughout our stint, usually with the best times coming at the end of a stint. We found a set up that allowed us to be quick as well as maximize the life of the tires.
"The team worked hard all season and learned a lot about the car that should show in the results next year."
Bunting's driving partner, Dominic Cicero, described the weekend this way.
"The track was dusty and dry. I had a hard time staying hydrated. The elevation and the climate definitely took a toll on me. It's a different climate than I am used too. But I like the layout of the track and can get into a rhythm there really easy. I like it...
"I thought the bad luck was finally going to be over for the Stevenson Corvette this weekend. The start of the race went well but then the half shaft came apart after just two hours. That was a real shame for I feel we had a top five car. The team all worked really well together and they brought the car back in just a few laps.
"It was such a shame that the car broke. I drove so hard in my second stint trying to get back in front. The car has made a huge jump in development and I believe that the car showed a lot of potential for next season.
"This season has been the epitome of a development year. It's been tough but I know that the team, and I, have learned a lot and these guys never gave up!"
The Stevenson team finished the season 13th in class, with 192 team points, ahead of 18 other teams. In the Driver's Championship, Bunting finished in 18th spot and Cicero reached the 24th spot. There were a total of 95 places showing drivers with points in the class. This put the duo in the top 26% of the class.
Johnny Stevenson and the entire Stevenson Motorsports Team thank all the fans who cheered them on -- and felt their pain when bad luck struck -- throughout the 2007 season.
The 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Series calendar is expected to be made public in the near future. When it is, the Stevenson Team will begin making travel plans to bring them back on track in 2008!