The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT4.R will start from the front row for the second time this season with high hopes for another run to IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge victory lane in Saturday’s Biscuitville Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).
Friday, the first day of on-track activity, brought sunshine, blue skies and considerably cooler temperatures than the rural Virginia track has traditionally provided with the annual August visit to the 3.27-mile natural terrain circuit.
VIR presents a close to home familiarity for both the car and the Stevenson Motorsports team. The sixth generation Camaro made its first official laps around the Alton, Virginia-track earlier this year.
While that outing focused on getting to know the all-new Chevrolet GT4 fighter, the team was able to gain valuable insight on the Camaro’s potential for Round 9 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event. Fast forward four months and the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT4.R has made large strides since those first VIR laps so many months ago.
Matt Bell and Robin Liddell got right into fine tuning the car during the first practice session on Friday with the team committing to a differential change to prepare for Friday’s qualifying and Saturday’s race outing.
The crew put their dedicated work ethic to use and got the change completed before the following practice session. The hard work was repaid as the team saw an improvement and Bell drove right to second on the list, closing out the session with a 1:55.162-second flyer.
Bell returned to qualifying duties and was pleased with the balance of the car after topping the time charts for the final round of practice before qualifying ensued. Bell took to the start of the 15-minute session and pulled out a fast lap of 1:54.972-seconds, placing him on the front row with an outside front row starting spot for Saturday’s Biscuitville Grand Prix.
The Biscuitville Grand Prix will get underway Saturday, August 26th at 2:10 PM.
Stevenson Motorsports Team Quotes:
Matt Bell: “I think we did about as well as we could do. The race tomorrow is going to be a lot of fun and I think we are going to have some good competition with the Mustang. The team has the ability to tune our car to be really good on tires over a long period of time. We just have to keep our noses clean and keep doing what we have done every single weekend which is nail the pit stops, nail the strategy and just be really tidy out on track.”
Robin Liddell: “The day went pretty well and the car rolled off the trailer quite quick so that was encouraging. This afternoon we made a step forward and started to see some improvements. We focused more on qualifying and getting the best out of that than we had in the past. Matt (Bell) did a great job putting the car on the front row. Starting on the front row is going to be really important for the race and I am feeling pretty positive going into tomorrow.”
Mike Johnson: “I’m a little disappointed not to get a pole today. We had a really good lap and we thought a high 1:54 would do it. But we are pleased and we are basically right where we need to be. The Mustang is consistently our closest competition because they are similar cars and I think we will have a good race tomorrow.”
Source. Sunday Group