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Aug 09, 2014 - 07:10 AM
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Double Top-Five Qualifying Effort for Stevenson Motorsports at Road America
Posted by: newsla on Aug 09, 2014 - 07:08 AM
Sports Cars
Double Top-Five Qualifying Effort for Stevenson Motorsports at Road America


Stevenson Motorsports got the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America off to a quick start on Friday when both team Camaro Z/28.R machines qualified among the top-five on the grid. Matt Bell led the effort and will open Saturday’s 2.5-hour race from third while Andrew Davis will start just behind in fifth.

 

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Both Bell and Davis set their fastest laps early in the 15-minute session with Bell taking the No. 9 Camaro Z/28.R to a quick lap of 2:22.934-seconds on Lap 3. Davis was not far behind with a flying lap of 2:23.114-seconds on his second lap of the session.

“The car was good - it was just what we needed,” said Bell who will start the race before handing the controls over to Andy Lally. “On Lap 3, the tires were falling off so the car's balance was getting out of hand a little bit. So it was a little bit difficult. The Stevenson guys have been working really hard. I'm really impressed with everybody. It's this time of the season, it's been happening for a while, but everyone knows how to get everything done. We know how to win races now so we're looking forward to the race. I've never won from pole so statistically, on the roulette table, I wasn't very confident at Indy to begin with. But I have won from third place so hopefully I can keep that up.”

Davis, who shares the No. 6 Camaro Z/28.R with Robin Liddell is hopeful to continue a string of positive results for Stevenson Motorsports in Saturday’s race.

“Qualifying was very hard-fought,” said Davis. “This series is so competitive, that was by far my best lap in the car. I was proud of the guys because they worked hard. They have been under the car and working so hard today, just making change after change, and more great changes for qualifying. That was the raciest the car has felt. I had a really good lap. I pushed the car as hard as I could and certainly used up every inch of the track here at Road America that I could. And that was the quickest lap I've run yet in our Stevenson Camaro Z/28.R. We have to look at the season and the championship. We're still in a good, safe striking distance for the start of the race and hopefully we'll be able to hang in that area and get some points. We're just at a little bit of a deficit on top speeds and that hurts us here at Road America with the long straights. But still we've got a good car to fight with so I was happy with the car in qualifying and the effort put forth by the team.”

Stevenson Motorsports drivers have visited the podium at the track four times, including Bell’s win in 2011 when he teamed with John Edwards. With a history of success at Road America, the team is prepared for what is expected to be a challenging race on Saturday.

“It's very, very tight up at the front and it always has been,” said Team Manager Mike Johnson. “We're really happy. At the end of the day, the biggest concern that we have is that these long big turns deteriorate the tires quicker than at most tracks. And since we're substantially heavier than the cars we're competing against, we're seem to have a bigger drop off than we've had in the last few races. It's probably going to be a bit tougher to manage. This isn't one of those races where we walk in and say ‘we need to win this thing.’ This is a track where we say ‘let's minimize the damage and get some points.’ We're still in a very tight points battle with the No. 46 car. We've got four races to go and we're 15 points back. If they beat us, we need to make sure it's only by 2 or 3 points, not 10. And if we beat them, we'll get as many as we can and go on to VIR which is a track that suits our car a bit better.”

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will go green Saturday at 12:15 PM Central Time and will be video streamed LIVE on www.imsa.com. As always, live timing and scoring is also available at imsa.com.

The race will be televised on FOX Sports 1 at 12:00 PM ET on Sunday, August 17.


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