Fighting to the Finish, Stevenson Motorsports Scores Second-Place Championship Finish at Road Atlanta


78c668a2-3938-430d-8d07-5bf0ca170691Braselton, GA (4 October 2014) – In a season that saw Stevenson Motorsports debut the all new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R, the red, white, and blue squad staged an impressive campaign in the 2014 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship.

The team led the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship and scored multiple wins as the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R came just shy of winning their first-ever championship at Road Atlanta.

Georgia-native Andrew Davis was the first to see the green flag around his home track from pole position in his No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R he shares with Robin Liddell. Matt Bell started the race not far behind in fourth position in the brother Stevenson Camaro Z/28.R he shares with Andy Lally.

220bb21f-4254-4cfb-9640-494c5647eec5Davis immediately set to work, hunting the sought-after championship while Bell focused on scoring the best result possible as well as aiding Davis in the team Camaro machine. Although Davis lost two positions in the opening laps, that put him directly ahead of his teammate, Bell, giving the duo an opportunity to display some Stevenson teamwork.

Unfortunately, the No. 9 suffered a mechanical failure just before the first full-course caution fell, ultimately forcing them to retire from the race and keeping co-driver Andy Lally from even turning a race lap around the 2.54-mile circuit.

Davis ran the rest of his stint in second place, holding off the championship challenging No. 46 car and pitting under the first full-course caution just after the 45-minute mark to take on fuel, four fresh Continental Tires and to hand the car over to Liddell.

d42d118a-b6e4-41de-bfb0-918f437f45a5After taking on every drop of fuel possible, Liddell re-entered the fray in third place just behind the rival No. 46 car and eventually passed for the lead on Lap 34. After pitting for a splash of fuel and left-side tires only, Liddell was running in fifth position with under an hour left to race.

The balance of the race was a full blown dog fight with positions in the top five changing hands regularly. As the laps ticked down, Liddell was in second but the gap in points wasn’t enough to secure the championship; his only shot was to try to go for the lead.

Fighting tooth and nail with the No. 8 Aston Martin Vantage in the final 10 minutes of the race, it was a classic battle for two laps as Liddell took the point under braking while the Aston was able to move ahead in the straights. As they went side by side through the 10 a and b corners, the Aston claimed the apex, but the two made contact taking both cars off the podium.

The 10th place race result for the No. 6 marks the third consecutive runner-up finish in the GS class championship while the brother car finished the season 12th. in the standings.

“Robin (Liddell) did great,” said Mike Johnson after the race. “He did everything he was supposed to do. He fought until the very last lap. You have so much hope that things are going to go your way in these things. Trent (Hindman, championship rival) drove right through the field and got right to the back of us. At that point you knew it was going to be a battle. We had track position on them the whole day. But we had to beat them by two cars, and it wasn’t going to work if we were second and they were fourth. So Robin had to do everything he had to do. That is what you want your driver to do. That is what he did, and I am really proud of the team. On the stand we were saying either that car is going to come back in a pile, or we are going to win this thing. I’m just so proud of everybody and the effort they have put in all year. We had a brand new car this year and you can look at various races – Daytona was a double DNF. Then we went out and won Sebring. Then we had a DNF right after that, and you are so far back. Then we get on the Stevenson streak…it is win, win, win and we got back in the mix. But we always have that big hole in the beginning and we can’t seem to dig ourselves out of it. We could have lost by any margin today and I would still have been proud of Robin (Liddell) for his hard work and great drive.”

The race will be aired on FOX Sports 1 on October 12 at 12:00 PM (ET).

Stevenson Motorsports Driver Quotes:

Matt Bell, No 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R – “The car was fast, I mean super fast for the beginning of my stint. I was catching everyone in front of me, though my brother got by me in traffic, I was catching him back again. The car was awesome; we worked really hard all weekend to try to figure out what was wrong with this car. We finally got it nailed down and basically before the end of my stint I got a crank case pressure alarm, which is never a good one to see. So that was in Turn-6 coming out of Turn-7;  a little bit of smoke in the cabin, I could smell the oil, and by the braking zone of Turn 10 it just completely grenaded. So this is the end of our race, end of our season. It’s been frustrating but it’s been just a blast. We’re doing what we are supposed to be doing, which is developing a really awesome racecar. The No. 6 car guys have definitely enjoyed a lot of success. We’ve had our fun as well in the No. 9.  Overall, it’s been a great season. We got a win earlier in the season. My job at this race was to be a good teammate for the No. 6 car. But basically I was just trying to keep the No. 46 back. We got that done; it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t take it to the checkered flag.”

Robin Liddell, No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R – “To be honest, and I have to be completely honest, I’m perfectly happy with my own performance.  I knew I gave it everything I have.  I decided that coming into this weekend, the only thing that mattered to me was maximizing our performance and our result. And now, we didn’t maximize our result as it turned out, probably the best result we could have done was third, and that wasn’t good enough anyway. So at that point in time, I was doing everything in my mind I could do to hang on to second place and hope that something happened, and that was going to be enough.  I don’t feel in any way apologetic for how it ended up. I just really want to thank the team, my teammates and everybody involved in this program. It has been a huge amount of work for everybody since it came to be last October. The amount of work these guys have done has been just incredible. I really take my hat off to them. At the end of the day, the only thing I can do is give my maximum performance and hopefully that goes some way to them to feel like all that work they have done was justified. It’s been a really good season. We’ve won some races; we could have won some others. We could have won the championship, but we came up a little short.  But when you think back to where the program was in January, the fact that we are even in this position fighting for any championship win is super incredible. Overall I am super happy with the work the team has done on both cars. The whole program, Chevrolet, Pratt and Miller, GM Powertrain, Katech  – everybody that has been involved in the program. It’s been fantastic from that point of view.”

Andrew Davis, No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R – “As soon as I got out on the grid, I knew I had made the right choice choosing slicks. I was a little too conservative on lap-one especially Turn-1 and Turn-3, so I lost those spots to Scott and Eric but at that point in time I realized our car had pace; the Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R was running really well. Over the long run our cars were okay, I feel like our car was reeling in on the guys in front and was right on the tail of the No. 15 Mustang at the end of my stint. But you know it’s been a great season and I just want to thank Stevenson Motorsports, Stevenson Auto, GM, Pratt & Miller, Chevy and everyone that’s helped us this year. We’ve had a phenomenal year!”