CAMARO Z.28.R AT CTMP: Bell, Lally Score Tough GS Victory for Stevenson Motorsports
Chevrolet grows lead in Grand Sport manufacturer championship
· Second consecutive and season’s third victory for Camaro Z/28.R
· Call for two tires on last stop proves to be difference for No. 9 duo
· Four Camaros finish in top-seven in lone Canadian stop
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 12, 2014) – Matt Bell and Andy Lally made the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R a winner again Saturday with a victory for Stevenson Motorsports at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the seventh round of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Lally led the final 46 minutes to take the first win of the year for he and Bell by 1.014 seconds in the No. 9 Camaro Z/28.R.
The No. 9 Stevenson crew opted to take two tires on its last stop just before a full-course caution period. Lally left in fifth but moved back into first for good minutes later when the leaders pitted under yellow.
“Congratulations to Andy, Matt, John Stevenson and everyone at Stevenson Motorsports on an outstanding effort and victory today at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park,” said Mark Kent, Chevrolet Director of Racing. “The performance of the Camaro Z/28.R was very solid with all four of them competing today placing in the top-seven of the race. This win was also important as it increased Chevrolet’s lead in the manufacturer championship standings.”
The Camaros were strong from the start. Andrew Davis in the No. 6 Stevenson Camaro qualified on pole and led the first 35 laps. Eric Curran set the fastest race lap in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro. Saturday’s victory was the third for the Z/28.R in its first season of competition. Liddell and Davis were winners at Sebring and Watkins Glen – the championship’s previous round.
“It was a great day for all four of our Camaro Z/28.Rs,” said Lisa Talarico, Chevrolet Program Manager for the Continental Tire Sports Car Championship. “The No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports team ran a near-perfect race with a great call on the last stop for two tires. Both Matt and Andy did exactly what they needed to do to deliver the third win for the Camaro Z/28.R.”
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge next races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, July 25.
ANDY LALLY, NO. 9 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO Z/28.R – RACE WINNER
ON THAT FINAL LAP WHEN YOU GOT TO TRAFFIC, WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND?
“That was tough because we hit traffic in a couple of difficult spots. There were some guys that tried to do the right thing, but unfortunately didn’t judge the gap right and it really hurt our gap. Matt (Bell) was talking about tire conservation, but I tell you this is a 3,500-pound car. We beat the heck out of these Continental tires and they took it all day and pulled away from the competition. I’m really thrilled with the Stevenson Motorsports team and Team Chevy… the Camaro Z/28.R is awesome. I really have to give a shout out, Mike (Johnson, team manager) and I haven’t won a race together in 10 years. This is Matt and I’s first race (win) together after I raced against Stevenson Motorsports for all these years. Finally getting a win with them is really cool… Especially at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. This is a special place; everybody knows this is a driver’s track. I knew I had some good cars behind me to hold off. It was fun race.”
MATT BELL, NO. 9 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO Z/28.R – RACE WINNER
YOU DROVE THE OPENING STINT AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD SAY THAT IS THE MORE DIFFICULT STINT. CONSERVING TIRES IN THE BEGINNING AND MAKING SURE YOU HAD A CAR TO HAND OVER… HOW DIFFICULT WAS THAT?
“It is tough. This is the greasiest we’ve seen this track all week. It was the hottest. Coming out of (Turn) 5 with this much torque, you are not full throttle until it feels like you are halfway down the straight and you actually roll all the way into it. It’s very tempting just to light them up and come off the corner, but when you take a look at the big picture you’ve got to take it easy. I know I was trying to save the car for Andy (Lally). I didn’t know how long I was going to stay in the car. We did a full-fuel stint so it was good that I saved my tires. The guys setup this Camaro Z/28.R perfect. We were taking not big swings, but it felt like big swings; we kind of fine-tuned it a little bit. It was just what I needed… just a little bit of understeer in and a little bit of oversteer out. Andy did an awesome job. He was just running the same lap time all day long. I believe one of his faster laps was one toward the end. He killed it.”