Stevenson Motorsports takes a 5th.


Top-Five Finish for Stevenson Motorsports at Belle Isle

Belle Isle, Mich. (4 June 2016) – In a short 100-minute sprint race littered with five full-course caution periods, Stevenson Motorsports played the strategy game to drive their No. 6 Stevenson Motorsport Audi R8 LMS home to a top-five finish. The 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship winning team flip-flopped their driving strategy to allow Robin Liddell to take the green while Andrew Davis drove the Audi home to a fifth place finish at the checkered flag.

247e7dbb-67b2-44f9-b54e-047d4bf9ea6dDespite looking strong in the opening laps of the race, the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS of Matt Bell suffered a clutch issue, forcing him behind the wall and robbing co-driver Lawson Aschenbach from turning any laps around the 2.35-mile circuit. Some hard work and ingenuity from the team saw Bell return to the track to score points and notch a 13th place result.

The Jacksonville, North Carolina-based team made huge gains throughout the quick two-day event weekend, pulling more and more speed out of both Audi machines during two practice sessions and qualifying and even into the race itself as Davis set his fastest lap of the race of 1:31.9-seconds in the final half hour of the race.

Unfortunately, positions lost in the pits combined with multiple longer caution periods left Davis unable to truly vie for position during his stint and he was forced to accept a fifth place finish despite displaying pace on par with the class leaders.

30ea3863-f7a1-4060-a95a-3ddb097a7a5b“With the driver ratings rules and the minimum drive-time we tried to outsmart the system a little bit today with our strategy,” explained Team Strategist, Mike Johnson. “So we started Robin (Liddell) in the No. 6 car which would have worked out very well because there wasn’t a single green flag pass during the race. Unfortunately that first yellow came out at 14 minutes so the pits weren’t open and then it went to 28 minutes so we weren’t able to get the gap we were hoping to and then everybody pitted and our pit stop wasn’t as good as four other cars and we went from first to fifth and then nothing happened after that. Regarding the No. 9 car, Matt (Bell) did a great job and he was right there and looking for a top-five finish probably as well but there was an accident in Turn 12 and the cars all came to a stop and for some reason when the No. 9 car had to stop something happened with the clutch and locked it up and the guys had to take it behind the wall to fix it. The good news is that as a team we started this weekend pretty poor from a pace standpoint and the team worked really hard to make really fast cars. I think if Andrew (Davis) or Matt (Bell) had been in the top-three at the first round of pit stops they would have finished there no question. So that is good. We moved up in points from fifth to fourth with the No. 6 car so that is good and we are now running on all cylinders. We have a six-hour coming up at Watkins Glen where we have tested and that should be a good result for us.”

The team now looks forward to racing at Watkins Glen at the end of June.