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Jan 23, 2013 - 05:44 PM
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John Edwards Kicks Off 2013 Grand-Am Season With Legendary Daytona Enduro
Posted by: newsla on Jan 23, 2013 - 05:39 PM
Grand Am News
John Edwards Kicks Off 2013 Grand-Am Season With Legendary Daytona Enduro


After a successful 2012 season racing in both the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, John Edwards will return this weekend to Daytona International Speedway to kick off the 2013 race season with Stevenson Motorsports.

 

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In 2012 Edwards and co-driver Robin Liddell raced the No. 57 Chevrolet Camaro, earning Stevenson Motorsports a second place finish in the Rolex GT Team Championship. Despite missing several early season race events due to a knee injury, the 21 year old racer came back to Liddell's side to earn the team three wins and an additional three podiums.

"It's great to be coming back with Robin for the season and continuing the great relationship we had last season," said Edwards. "Due to my injury last year, my role over the season was a little different, so I'm looking forward to working together to earn John Stevenson a championship."

Edwards and Liddell both return full time to Stevenson Motorsports with a renewed vigor to chase after the 2013 GT Championship title, starting with the 24 Hours of Daytona. The duo will be joined by Tommy Milner and Jan Magnussen for the 24 hour endurance race, in hopes to better last year's fourth place finish.

"The Stevenson team executed a perfect race in last year's 24 hour. Unfortunately, our lack of pace on the straights compared to the Porsches meant that a flawless race only netted us P4 in the race. It was a good result, but this year we will be aiming to execute at the same level and our car will be more competitive to put us in the battle for the win at the end."

The 2013 race season will mark John's third year with Stevenson in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with teammate Matt Bell in the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro. In 2012, Bell and Edwards finished third in the GS Team Championship, with one win and four top five finishes. "We had a good conclusion to the championship which put Matt P2 in the drivers' championship despite some poor finishes early in the season."

In their third consecutive season as teammates, the young duo will prove to be championship contenders in 2013. Edwards regarded the continuity as an advantage in the sport. "Drivers and crew sometimes move in and out of teams rather quickly, but Matt and I are entering our third year as teammates, and Kaz Technologies is starting its second year as our engineering support, so this will be a big advantage over last year when we were just starting to work together. Hopefully we'll be able to stay out of trouble and avoid these poor early season finishes so that we're able to fight for the championship at the end of the year."

At only 21 years old, Edwards has set the bar high, pursuing both the GT and GS titles. Although a seemingly challenging feat, the young racer has a strong history of on-track success, becoming the youngest ever open wheel race winner at age 12. He then advanced to win the 2008 Star Mazda Championship at age 17 and the 2009 Atlantic Championship at age 18. His transition to sports cars proved seamless as he earned one win and three additional podiums in his first season. By his second season, Edwards starting racing in both GRAND-AM series, accumulating additional strong finishes to his resume.

"Racing in both the Rolex and Continental Tire series can mean a hectic schedule on some weekends, especially when it comes to test days," said Edwards. "However, it definitely provides an advantage with more track time on a race weekend and an opportunity to race twice. This gives drivers doing double duty more opportunity to see how the track changes over a weekend."

The Continental Tire Challenge GRAND-AM 200 begins Friday, January 25th at 1:30pm. The 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona will broadcast live on SPEED from 3:00pm to 11:00pm on Saturday, January 26, and 9:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday, January 27. Live timing for both race events will be available on GRAND-AM.com.

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