Stevenson Motorsports will make their second consecutive IMSA WeatherTech GTD entry into the 24-hour endurance spectacle with a stellar driver line up. Carrying a new but familiar number, the No. 57 Audi R8 LMS will return to the 3.56-mile road course to compete in the highly competitive 27 car GTD class for the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Stevenson Motorsports once again has a very talented quartet of drivers that will share the driving duties behind the wheel of the No. 57 Stevenson Automotive Audi R8 LMS machine for the 55th running of the Rolex 24. Full season drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Andrew Davis will be joined by endurance drivers Robin Liddell and Matt Bell. All four drivers contested the WeatherTech championship last year and bring their extensive experience and knowledge of the Audi R8 LMS to the new season ahead. The familiarity of the drivers with not only the car, but with each other will be an unparalleled advantage going into the 24-hour event.
Sophomore Year for the Audi R8 LMS
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will mark Stevenson Motorsports’ second consecutive year contending in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the Audi R8 LMS. After winning the Continental SportsCar Championship with the Camaro Z/28.R GS class entry, the team worked to make progress at every race in their inaugural season with Audi last year – taking two double-podium finishes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Lime Rock. Stevenson Motorsports enters the 24 weekend as one of the few teams with no car or driver changes from last year, which has the team optimistic about the season ahead.
Rolex 24 At Daytona Single Car Focus
After running a two-car team in 2016, Stevenson Motorsports will focus on a single car entry for the Rolex 24. After racing against each other week in and week out last season, the four Stevenson Motorsports drivers will join forces in the No. 57 entry at Daytona.
Familiarity Behind the Wheel
It’ll be a familiar outing for the Stevenson Motorsports squad, which fielded the same four drivers in the No. 6 Stevenson Automotive Audi R8 LMS last year when Davis, Liddell, Aschenbach and Bell co-drove in the 2016 edition of the Rolex 24 before pairing off into two separate Audi entries for the remainder of the season.
Return of the No. 57
The No. 57 is an iconic number for the Stevenson Motorsports team from a decade long heritage of GRAND-AM racing which started back in 2004. With 17 wins and 16 podium finishes, the No. 57 has the results to back up its unforgettable legacy. The return of this number brings back many memories and enthusiasm for both the crew and the drivers.
Matt Bell, endurance driver for the No. 57 said, “It’s such an honor to be back and be back with the 57 number. When I first joined this team, the 57 was kind of a hero. You couldn’t look up at a leader board without seeing No. 57. To have the opportunity to hop in and have that number on the side of my car is one that I am very proud of.”
Top GTD Contender for the Rolex 24 Win
With the introduction of the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class, and new manufacturers entering the GTD ranks, there are a lot of new changes in the IMSA paddock. While several teams will see changes in staff, drivers and cars, Stevenson Motorsports once again has consistency across the team roster. Along with a consistent driver lineup, some familiar faces will be on the pit box and in pit lane as the team will see Mike Johnson and Michael Hoffmann return as lead strategist and crew chief, respectively.
After a highly successful test at the Roar Before the 24, the No. 57 found itself with competitive times through a wide range of conditions throughout the weekend and will look to once again show speed following the updated IMSA balance of performance adjustments released ahead of the race.
New Year, New Engineer
One of the few changes for Stevenson Motorsports in 2017 is the addition of Steve Newey to oversee the engineering of the team. The strategic move to add Newey to the team will add a new perspective on keeping the spec-GT3 car on pace through the varied conditions expected through the long day, night, and day for the race.
Team History at the Rolex 24
15 marks the number of Rolex 24 events that Stevenson Motorsports has entered throughout the team’s career. The organization has two best finishes of fourth place in 2010 and 2012 while racing its Camaro GT.R, and look to improve on that with a podium result this year.
37 Times to Cross the Line
The lineup of drivers for Stevenson Motorsports is hands down one of the strongest and most experienced for the start of the Rolex 24 with 38 combined race starts for Lawson Aschenbach (5), Andrew Davis (15), Robin Liddell (12) and Matt Bell (6). The wealth of experience that each driver brings to the table will be a big asset.
Lawson Aschenbach No. 57 Audi R8 LMS: “Now that we have had a year with it (Audi R8 LMS) we have got a lot of data and info and a lot of set up work that we can use that we know is going to work here. Because of the team and drivers here at Stevenson Motorsports I have a lot of confidence that we can win this race. A lot of it will come down to stuff that is out of our hands that we can’t worry about, like balance of performance. But in the end, I know we are going to have good pit stops with the crew and I know we are going to have a great car. I am very optimistic for how this race is going to go for us.”
Andrew Davis No. 57 Audi R8 LMS: “I feel really confident going into the Rolex 24 this year. One advantage we have is that we have an awesome driver line up. To have the four of us together and then the experience that Robin (Liddell) and I have had together over the years is great. This is my 16th 24 Hours of Daytona, so that’s confidence inspiring. I also know that we have the team and Stevenson Motorsports has been at this for a long time and I kind of feel like we deserve a little lady luck on our side because we have fallen short in this particular race.
“My confidence is very high moving into this race and maybe the highest it’s ever been just because we have such a strong lineup and a strong car that we have had a year of developing. Most of the other cars out there are new or have new groups running them or new driver lineups.”
Matt Bell No. 57 Audi R8 LMS: “We have one of these rare but amazing situations where all of us are on the same page and we are all able to set the same sort of times and we are all able to get everything out of the car. For us this is the biggest race of the year. The mileage we are going to put on the car as well as the wear and tear on both the car and driver for this race is basically the rest of the season combined.”
Robin Liddell No. 57 Audi R8 LMS: “We all four drove here last year and we all have known each other for a while and we have all driven together in various circumstances over the years. I think we are a good, strong team and I think having the one car here this year is a big benefit for Stevenson. I think the focus on the one car will give us a much better chance of a good race execution. I think we are in as strong of a position as we could want to be.”
Driver and crew information, Stevenson Motorsports
John Stevenson – Team Owner
Susan Stevenson – Team Owner
Steve Newey – Engineer
Shawn Ulrich – Jr. Engineer/Data
Tristan Herbert – Audi Customer Racing Manager
Erin Keating – Audi Program Manager
Mike Johnson – Race Strategy
Michael Hoffman – Crew Chief / Front Tire Changer
Steve Antal – Car Chief / Air Jack / Rear Tire Changer
Pat Hughes – Mechanic / Side Tire Changer
Chris Vallely – Mechanic / Lollipop / Front Tire Assistant
Jaime Ray – Parts Management / Parts Runner
Johnathan Lamb –
Grant Ford – Pit Manager / Rear Tire Assistant
Carter Shelton – Fuel Manager / Fire Bottle / Fuel Assistant
Darrin Rudicil – Tire Manager / Fueler / Tire Management
Jason Davidson – Tire Assistant / Fuel Assistant / Deadman
Eric Mason – Pit Assistant / Driver Changer / Tire Assistant
Dave Cech – Pit Assistant / Tire / Fuel Runner
Steve Welk – Spotter
Mike Sweeney – Spotter
Driver Bios, Stevenson Motorsports
Birthdate: November 2, 1977
Resides: Athens, Georgia
It all began with SCCA club racing for Andrew Davis with impressive back-to-back championships within his first two years of racing in the Sports 2000 division. The following year, Davis scored a third championship in the SCCA Continental southeast division. The next step for Davis was a test in open-wheel cars where he spent one year racing in the US Formula Ford 2000 championship, coming away with multiple top-five finishes.
Sports cars is where Davis landed for the future of his career, starting out in the American Le Mans series. Davis first made the move to Stevenson Motorsports in 2008 when he partnered with co-driver, Robin Liddell and shared a race seat with him for the next three years. Over the course of Davis’ six years with Stevenson Motorsports, he has accumulated 14 race wins for the team.
One of Davis’ career highlights came in 2011 when he won the Rolex GT championship with Brumos Racing driving the No. 59 Porsche GT3 Cup car. Outside of racing, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and son as well as driver coaching up and coming talent.
Davis has been a part of the Rolex 24 racing heritage for an amazing 15 seasons, the most out of the Stevenson Motorsports drivers. Davis’ knowledge and talent of the Daytona International Speedway has brought him his two best finishes; a third place podium finish with TRG in 2012 and more recently a second place finish in 2015 with Alex Job Racing.
2008 Grand-Am GT Class Wins: Mexico City, VIR, Montreal, (Stevenson Motorsports/GXP.R)
2009 Grand-Am GT Class Wins: VIR, Birmingham, Montreal, (Stevenson Motorsports/GXP.R)
2010 Grand-Am GT Class Wins: Toole (Stevenson Motorsports, Chevy Camaro GTR)
2011 Grand-AM GT Class Wins: Watkins Glen, Laguna Seca (Brumos Racing, Porsche GT3 Cup)
2014 CTSCC GS Class wins: Sebring, Watkins Glen, Indianapolis (Stevenson Motorsports/Camaro Z28R)
2015 CTSCC GT Champion with wins at: Sebring, Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, COTA (Stevenson Motorsports/Camaro Z28R)
Birthday: February 28, 1974
Resides: Newbury, England
Robin is a Scottish racing driver with immense experience in sports car racing. Starting off his professional racing career in 2001, Liddell raced in the European Le Mans Series for PK sport in the 911 GT3-RS. Liddell soon transitioned into the American Le Mans Series sticking with his 911 GT3-RS roots.
In 2004 Liddell found himself first in the GT class at the Rolex 24 with Orbit Racing. Liddell found a new home with Stevenson Motorsports in 2008 and continued racing for the team for nine consecutive years – earning an impressive 24 race wins and 25 podiums. Continued success soon followed as Liddell achieved two podium finishes in the GS class which culminated in a championship win in the 2015 Continental SportsCar Challenge.
Robin Liddell comes in a close second to Andrew Davis with most Rolex 24 starts, totaling 12. Robin’s inaugural entry into the Rolex 24 event in 2004 would also mark his first Rolex 24 win racing for Orbit Racing in the No. 44 Porsche GT3 RS. Aside from his win, Liddell has best finishes of fourth in 2005, 2010, and 2012.
22 GRAND-AM GT Class victories, 7 ALMS GT Class victories
2004 Rolex 24 At Daytona GT Class winner (Orbit Racing, Porsche GT3RS)
2006 Grand Am GT Wins: Laguna, Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Mid-Ohio
2008 Grand Am GT Wins: Mexico City, VIR, Montreal (Stevenson/Pontiac GXPR)
2009 Grand Am GT Wins: VIR, Barber, Montreal (Stevenson/Pontiac GXPR)
2010 Grand Am GT Win: Utah (Stevenson/Camaro)
2011 Grand Am GT Wins: Watkins Glen, Laguna Seca, Montreal, Mid-Ohio (Stevenson/Camaro)
2012 Grand Am GT Wins: Watkins Glen, Montreal, Lime Rock (Stevenson/Camaro GTR)
2013 Grand Am GT Wins: Barber, Road Atlanta, Detroit, Watkins Glen, Montreal, Lime Rock (Stevenson/Camaro GTR)
2015 CTSCC GT Champion with wins at: Sebring, Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, COTA (Stevenson Motorsports/Camaro Z28R)
*4 Starts in Le Mans 24 (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007)
Birthday: August 31, 1985
Resides: Los Altos, California
California native, Matt Bell, began his racing career in the GRAND-AM Series racing for Turner Motorsport in 2008. Bell’s success in the Continental SportsCar Championship saw three consecutive pole positions while setting remarkable track records.
Bell made an impressive debut in the Daytona Prototype field in 2010, earning himself the Jim Trueman Award, given to a driver who completes the most laps and finishes highest. This was an impressive feat seeing as though Bell had extremely limited seat time.
Bell joined Stevenson Motorsports in 2011 racing in the GS class where he locked in three top-five finishes and earned the team their first two class wins at Road America and Laguna Seca. Bell continued to race for Stevenson Motorsports for the following five years totaling four wins and 10 podium finishes.
Matt Bell currently has six starts in the Rolex 24 with a best finish of 10th in 2010 racing in the GT class for Stevenson Motorsports.
2014 CTSCC at CTMP GS class win (Stevenson Motorsports/Camaro Z28R)
2013 CTSCC GS class wins: Road Atlanta, Kansas (Stevenson Motorsports/Camaro GSR)
2012 CTSCC Laguna Seca GS class win (Stevenson Motorsports, Camaro GSR)
2011 CTSCC GS class wins: Road America, Laguna Seca (Stevenson Motorsports/Camaro GSR)
2009 KONI Challenge GS class wins: Daytona International Speedway, Trois Rivieres (Turner Motorsport, BMW M3)
Birthday: November 22, 1983
Resides: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Lawson got his start racing karts before he made the move to open-wheel cars at the young age of 16. After successfully mastering his craft in open-wheel cars he quickly gained an interest in sports car racing. In his opening season with the SPEED World Challenge Series, Aschenbach showed his talent by finishing on the podium for his first professional race.
In 2006, Aschenbach never finished lower than ninth position and was the first rookie to win the SPEED GT championship that year. Lawson went on to secure six championships in the Pirelli World Challenge (4), GRAND- AM Continental SportsCar championship (1) and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Pro-Am.
Throughout Lawson’s extensive career of racing, he has competed in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona five times (2007, 08, 09, 13, 16) with a best finish of 14th this past year (2016) with Stevenson Motorsports.
In his free time, Lawson enjoys keeping up with his fitness regime through strength training and karting as well as spending time with his wife and 1 year old daughter.
2014 CTSCC at Road America GS class win (CKS Autosport/Camaro Z28R)
2013 Grand-Am at Lime Rock Park GT class win (Marsh Racing/Corvette)
2012 CTSCC at Indianapolis Motor Speedway GS class win (CKS Autosport/Camaro Z28R)
2010 CTSCC at Daytona International Speedway GS class win (Compass360 Racing/Audi S4)
2009 KONI Challenge at Daytona International Speedway ST class win (Georgian Bay Motorsports/Chevrolet Cobalt)
2008 KONI Challenge ST class wins: Iowa, VIR (Georgian Bay Motorsports/Chevrolet Cobalt)
Source. Sunday Group