Chevy Racing–CAMARO Z/28.R AT ROAD AMERICA: Thrilling Victory for CKS Autosport

CAMARO Z/28.R AT ROAD AMERICA: Thrilling Victory for CKS Autosport
Aschenbach, Curran take first win of season; Liddell fights back for second with Davis

· A 1-2 finish for Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R

· Aschenbach wins on last-corner, last-lap pass

· Chevrolet extends Grand Sport class manufacturer championship lead

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 9, 2014) – Luck finally went the way of the CKS Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R of Eric Curran and Lawson Aschenbach on Saturday. Aschenbach made the winning pass on the uphill straight heading toward the finish line out of the exit of the final corner Saturday at Road America to give the duo its first victory of the season in the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

The Camaro Z/28.R won its fourth consecutive race and fifth time this season in the Grand Sport (GS) class. Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis were runners-up in Stevenson Motorsports’ No. 6 Camaro Z/28.R. The result bolstered Chevrolet’s lead in the GS manufacturer championship.

“Eric Curran, Lawson Aschenbach and the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R team demonstrated a ‘Never-Give-Up’ attitude throughout the entire race today,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsport. “It was great to see that the team’s effort paid off with their first victory of the year. Kirk Spencer and everyone at CKS Autosport have worked hard for this win.
“Robin Liddell made an incredible drive to overcome a pit road penalty, and charge through the field to finish second,” Campbell added.

Curran began the race ninth but drove his way to the lead 16 laps in. Following the third of four caution periods, Aschenbach found himself eighth but, like his teammate, worked his way through the field and took the lead 15 minutes from the end. He fell back to second with eight minutes remaining but took advantage of a mistake by the leader on the final lap to win by 1.443 seconds over Liddell, who entered the race second in the GS driver standings with Davis.

The Scotsman had a drama-filled stint, as well. Following the third caution period, Liddell was called in to serve a penalty for speeding in pitlane. It moved the No. 6 Camaro Z/28.R from fourth to 16th with 30 minutes left. Liddell picked up 11 spots in 15 minutes to move into the top-five. He moved to third on the final lap before taking second just before the finish line.

“This was a great effort by our partners at CKS Autosport and Stevenson Motorsports to finish first and second at Road America,” said Lisa Talarico, Chevrolet Program Manager for the Continental Sports Car Challenge. “It was a thrilling result and great reward for both teams to score valuable championship points. We all are excited to continue the momentum gained for the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R.”

The next round of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is Saturday, Aug. 23 at Virginia International Raceway.

“Sometimes you just have to take it as you can get it, right? I have to say thanks to everyone at Chevrolet and CKS Autosport. Our Camaro Z/28.R was fast all weekend. We had a really good long-run car. We were hoping for that and fortunately we kind of got some decent runs in there. We were able to stretch a little bit of a lead there. I don’t know what to say right now. We’ve been through so much. This team has been through so much. To be able to kind of get the monkey off our back is awesome. The guys deserve it. They have been working so hard all year. We’ll take it, so thanks to them.
“It’s been a tough year. We’ve been fast everywhere, just something would happen. We didn’t quite have the fastest car today, but we got it done. The guys executed well on pit lane. We executed on strategy. You have to execute. That is half the battle sometimes whether you have a fast car or not. I’m just really happy, and thanks to everybody that came out for the race.”

“It was a team effort! Lawson did an awesome job. We got up to the front in the beginning, and led for a long time. The Team Chevy CKS Camaro Z/28.R was amazing all day. It’s been good all year; we just haven’t had the results. Finally we got a little bit of luck to go our way. All the work from the CKS Autosport crew has paid off. Kirk Spencer and all his crew… finally! They have been working hard all year long. I’m so really, really happy for them. We just couldn’t believe it at the end. We thought the Subaru had us, and sure enough, he had a problem right there at the end. So, we’ll take it. However it comes, we’ll take it.”

“I thought we were completely out of the game. But as always, I was going to go 100 percent. I did the best I could, and we managed to make up a lot of spots. In the end, it was a great performance by the team again. We just have to be happy that we finished in front of the No. 46. That really was the goal today. The car performed very very well. We were able to capitalize on other people’s mistakes and make some positions. A difficult race, a lot of contact out there. But very very happy for the guys and everyone involved. Obviously, having Chevrolet and the Camaro Z/28.R get the win this victory is great. At the end of the day, the car performs very well at all the tracks. To come back and get on the podium after the penalty is just a testament to the performance of the car and the work from Stevenson Motorsports, Chevrolet, and Pratt and Miller.”

“I had a really good initial start, and I had a good run up the hill. The Stevenson Camaro was pulling good. I was excited actually. The Mustang that was in front of me had gone inside, and chose the inside lane. He actually hit the brakes sooner than I thought he would. I hate that because that dropped me from P4 to P11. I spent the rest of my stint just digging us out. I did my best to move up, but unfortunately our engine gets really hot when we are behind cars. It makes it very difficult to pass cars, and we got walked away from on the straightaways. I was initially disappointed because we knew we had a good car, and I was able to run some good laps times. I just hated to lose that much track position.”

“Right on the start, I couldn’t tell for sure what happened. John (Edwards) might have floated out a little bit off the apex into Turn One, or maybe Billy Johnson came in; I really couldn’t tell what happened because I am looking through it at that point. I was just turning in when I saw John hit the side of Billy. For some reason I thought I saw his front wheels turn in and I thought he was going to turn to the inside, so I figured the best bet was to follow Billy on the outside because he had a better view of what was happening anyway. So I started following him and I got caught on the curb. A bunch of other people followed him too so we had a scrambled start. That put me back to fifth, I think. I was just kind of pushing along, but I think there was kind of a glancing blow on the back of Billy’s car from that dust-up in Turn One and that might have shut off some grill space and caused some cooling issues. So the whole stint I literally couldn’t use anybody’s draft, I couldn’t brake where I wanted to. I had to stay inside or outside looking for clean air all the time. That’s a little tough. The car was really good. Driving off line, and braking early, we were still fast.”

“The stint went pretty good. We had a great start, and passed a bunch of cars on the first lap. I forgot to turn on the diff-in, so that is why we had a little smoke going on. The Chevy Camaro Z/28.R was great. (Darren Law) has definitely helped me with me looking at my lines; going deeper and things like that. Just giving me some different feedback with Eric and Lawson too.”