Stevenson Motorsports Looks To Continue Trend of Winning At Watkins Glen
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stevenson Motorsports looks to carry a four-year winning streak at Watkins Glen International into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on July 3.

The team won the Sahlen’s Six Hours under the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series banner in 2012 and2013, with Robin Liddell and John Edwards co-driving a Chevrolet Camaro in the GT class both times, while Liddell and Andrew Davis won overall in 2014 and 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition as Stevenson Motorsports fielded a Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R in the Grand Sport (GS) class.

For 2016, the team has moved to the GT Daytona (GTD) class of the WeatherTech Championship, with Liddell and Davis co-driving the No. 6 Audi LMS GT3. Stevenson Motorsports recently tested with Liddell and Davis at the repaved 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International circuit, bringing both the No. 6 Audi and the team’s No. 9 Audi with Lawson Aschenbach and Matt Bell.

“There's no question that the track at Watkins Glen has been transformed over the winter, and the smooth grippy surface is now a match for any of the finest European road course facilities such as Spa or Silverstone,” Liddell said. “I have always really enjoyed racing at Watkins Glen over the years; the track itself is a perfect blend of natural elevation and high speed corners and is a real favorite with the drivers.

“The test from the Stevenson team's perspective was productive and gave us another opportunity to progress with our learning and development of the Audi R8. We made a number of changes throughout the day which really helped the car and gave us some direction going forward.”

Liddell qualified third for the recent race in Detroit, and joined Davis in finishing fifth. That gave the No. 6 Audi back-to-back top-five results, following a fourth-place result at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Liddell is expecting some variable weather conditions at The Glen, which he believes would benefit the team.

“One of the things which stands out at the Glen is the changing weather, something which I am not unused to coming from Scotland, and invariably there is always some inclement weather at some point throughout the race,” said Liddell, who also won the GT class in the Six Hours in 2006. “With three wins at the Six Hours of the Glen under my belt I am really looking forward to having another great run and hopefully bringing Stevenson back to victory lane.”

CORE autosport’s Bennett, Braun To Make Global RallyCross Debut

Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will take advantage of a short break in the WeatherTech Championship schedule to compete in RedBull Global RallyCross. The two-time defending WeatherTech Championship Prototype Challenge champions will drive separate cars fielded by CORE autosport and sponsored by ORECA and Sonic Tools in Rounds Four and Five at Daytona International Speedway on June 18-19.

“I’m really looking forward to this new evolution of CORE autosport,” Bennett said. “We’ve got the right people in place and the perfect partners in ORECA and SONIC Tools. Colin and I may not have any rallycross experience, but we’ve tested and had a blast in the GRC Lites cars. It seems fitting for us to make our debut at Daytona, where we’ve achieved a good amount of success in sports cars. We even won the Rolex 24 At Daytona in our debut… maybe that’s a tradition we can continue with GRC.”

In addition to racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Daytona (winning the Truck pole in 2009), Braun ran the fastest lap in the history of the 2.5-mile speedway on Oct. 9, 2013, averaging 222.971 in Michael Shank Racing’s Ford EcoBoost-Riley Daytona Prototype.

Late Entry Keeps Honda In Prototype Engine Manufacturers’ Championship

Taking on a logistical challenge paid off for Michael Shank Racing. After originally planning to not run at Detroit’s Raceway at Belle Isle Park to concentrate on its first trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Michael Shank Racing filed a late entry for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic to protect Honda’s chances in the WeatherTech Championship Prototype Engine Manufacturers’ Championship. That meant racing in Detroit on Saturday, and then jetting to France to participate in the official Test Day for the 24 Hours.

While Ozz Negri and substitute co-driver Katherine Legge finished fifth in the No. 60 Curb Records/AERO Honda Ligier JS P2, Honda earned 30 points in the Manufacturers’ standings. Chevrolet took over the lead on the basis of Ricky and Jordan Taylor’s victory in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP, with Honda now only one point behind in second, 166-165. If the team did not participate in Detroit, Chevrolet would be leading Mazda, 165-150, and Honda would have been virtually eliminated from contention with 135 points.

“It’s been all about logistics,” said Shank, who had half of his crew in France for Sunday’s Test Day at Le Mans. “It worked out great – everything went exactly how it was supposed to.”

Perocarpi Completes Unique Indy 500/Baja 500 Double

In addition to overseeing the John Cooper Works MINI team in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, LAP Motorsports owner Luis Perocarpi recently participated in a pair of classic races, the Indianapolis 500 and Baja 500.

At Indy, he was crew chief for Brian Clauson. It was Perocarpi’s sixth Indy 500, and the first time his car was running at the finish. Then it was on to the Baja 500, where Team C Racing won the Trophy Truck Spec class for the second straight year with Steven Eugenio and Larry Connor driving. Since winning the Baja 1000 in 2014, the team Perocarpi formed with Connor has won every race it’s entered twice. For the Baja 1000 in November, though, the team is stepping up to the SCORE Trophy Truck class in quest of the overall victory.

Now, Perocarpi is back at the shop in Indianapolis, helping the MINI team prepare for the Continental Tire 150 at Watkins Glen International on July 2.

End Quote:

Alex Popow, PC winner and third overall in Detroit in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 co-driven by Renger van der Zande: “Finally! We were fourth, third, second, and then second again. Now finally we're at the top of the ladder. We have to fight to try to keep it and to win more races now that we have the monkey off our backs. We're leading the championship by three points, and we're going to keep fighting for the championship. That's what we're here for, and we're hoping we don't have any more bad luck.”