TEAM CHEVY AT SEBRING: First Victory For Camaro Z/28.R
Liddell, Davis score landmark win for Stevenson Motorsports at Sebring
SEBRING, Fla. (March 14, 2014) – The new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R is a race-winner in just its second start in the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Stevenson Motorsports’ Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis took a victory Friday in the No. 6 Camaro Z/28.R at Sebring International Raceway.
Liddell made the winning pass on a restart with 30 minutes to go and pulled away from the field as the race ended under caution. Liddell finished ahead of John Edward, his Stevenson teammate from a year ago. The season’s second round finished under yellow-flag conditions following a massive crash for one of the Mazda ST competitors.
"Congratulations to Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis on taking the Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R to victory lane at Sebring," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "The entire team demonstrated a 'never-give-up' approach throughout the day to put the No. 6 Z/28.R in position for Robin to make a great move on a restart that ultimately gave the team the win. We are very proud of the dedicated efforts of John Stevenson and his crew at Stevenson Motorsports, our racing engineers and our technical partners on the development of Camaro Z/28.R that resulted in its first victory in the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
"We never want to see a race conclude under caution as a result of an accident, and we extend our best wishes to Mark Miller for a speedy and complete recovery," Campbell added.
Andy Lally and Matt Bell finished eighth in the No. 9 Stevenson Camaro. The No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R of Lawson Aschenbach and Eric Curran retired following an incident on the race’s final restart in the same series where Liddell drove to the lead. The incident also involved Lally, who dropped from fifth to eighth.
All three of the Camaros ran in the top-five until that point – a remarkable achievement considering the car’s early life. Liddell also posted the fastest race lap – 2:16.893.
“Congratulations to Robin Liddell, Andrew Davis, John Stevenson and everyone at Stevenson Motorsports for a fantastic victory with the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R,” said Lisa Talarico, Chevrolet Program Manager For Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
“Our partners at Stevenson Motorsports, Pratt & Miller and GM Powertrain put an incredible amount of effort into developing this new Camaro race car. To take a victory in just our second race is a fantastic achievement. This was a team victory in the truest sense.”
The next round of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is Saturday, May 3 at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
ROBIN LIDDELL, NO. 6 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z/28.R
"To be honest I thought John (Edwards) would drive away from us after that restart, so I kind of had the bit between my teeth just to try and see what I could make of the first lap. I thought it would settle down. Those guys were just slightly napping coming out of (Turn) 17, and I had a really good run alongside John. I just kind of boxed him in which was kind of mean and I knew he would be a bit hacked off about that. But I kept him boxed in there behind Shane (Lewis). Then when we got to the braking zone for Turn One, I just broke completely right and went around the outside of them. By then I saw there was some carnage behind me, but to be honest I had a pretty massive lead at that point. I certainly thought at that point (Edwards) was going to catch us and chase us down. Obviously the Camaro is running fantastically well, but we are still early in the program. I'm not sure had it gone back to green at the end if he would have been able to get around because I would have made that Camaro as wide as possible, as I always have done.
"I have had full confidence in the program for this new Chevy Camaro Z/28.R. Obviously Chevrolet is fully behind the program. Stevenson Motorsports and all the guys I have know and love from the team that I have worked with for six years. Credit to John Stevenson for getting behind this. Back with Andrew Davis, and here we are back in Victory Lane. It's pretty cool.
"I've been involved with the development of this Z/28 right from the beginning. Right from when the car first rolled out of the shop to be driven. I've had a little more time in the car than some of the other cars."
ANDREW DAVIS, NO. 6 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z/28.R
"I took a hiatus from Stevenson Motorsports for a while, and I come back and they are still firing on all cylinders. They are still one of the best teams out there so I knew this program was going to be strong. We made our Camaro Z/28.R better every session and just worked on the long runs trying to make sure the car was good over the run. Again, so happy to be back with Stevenson Motorsports. Thanks everybody. Robin did a superb job. It's nice to be on the top step of the podium again.
"This means a lot to me on a personal level to be back with Stevenson Motorsports and my buddy Robin Liddell. This is my first win at Sebring after the times I have been here. Just so happy for the Stevenson crew, for Chevy, for Pratt and Miller...thanks to everybody!
“We made another change overnight. We went back to something that worked for us in an earlier test session. I think that helped the car a little bit for a long run. Still it was all about management of the rear tires. It’s tough when you’re in a battle like that. I made a mistake and dropped back but was able to fight my way back up. With the lack of rear grip, the key is to drive mistake-free. The Stevenson Motorsports Camaro was really good. The focus we had over the weekend was not going for a single-lap but trying for a longer run. I’m proud of the team for working hard and giving us a car that is really good on those long runs.”
MATT BELL, NO. 9 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z/28.R
“The big issues we were having all weekend is keeping this thing cool, especially when it gets hot and gets humid. You’re running nose to tail, and it’s something you get when you’re developing a new car. What happens is the power drops off when you’re behind a car too long. So you’re bouncing back and forth between driving in a draft to keep up when the engine is cooler and popping out to try and cool it down. But with that constant change of torque, it’s hard to keep up. The tire fell off a little bit quicker than Andrew (Davis) and we didn’t want to hold him up. Other than that, the car is great. I’m having a blast driving the Camaro Z/28.R. That 7-liter engine is awesome. It’s still quite strong.”
ERIC CURRAN, NO. 01 CKS AUTOSPORT CAMARO Z/28.R
“Overall it was a good stint. We ran behind that BMW for awhile. That was the main goal. We have a heavier car and we have a Camaro Z/28.R with a big 7-liter motor and lots of torque. It’s pretty easy to spin up those rear tires coming off the corners. You have to be really careful on the tires, short-shift gears and not be too aggressive on the throttle and really pace yourself to have a really good run. These Camaro Z/28.Rs are so new and it’s the second race. There is still a learning curve but I’m really happy with what I’m seeing. These cars are plugging away and going fast.”
LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 01 CKS AUTOSPORT CAMARO Z/28.R
“It was one of those deals and unfortunate things coming to the green flag. We had a rocket ship today. The car was on rails all day. I thought we had a shot at it coming to the restart and looked like the two leaders spun. At that point there was nowhere I could go, and I moved up the track and into Andy (Lally). I feel bad for Andy but there was nothing I could do at the time and into the wall. I feel bad for the CKS Autosport guys. We definitely had a shot at this. We were going to fight the Stevenson guys and the BMW all the way there.”