Although the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS showed speed all weekend long at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) and was poised for a podium result, the team faced frustration as a tire issue saw the team slide down the order but fight back to record a 12th place finish.
Through a combination of perseverance and determination, the Audi machine endured to the finish of the 2 hour and 40 minute race to bring home as many championship points as possible.
Andrew Davis took the green flag in third and kept a clean race through the first five laps of the 2 hour and 40 minute event. On Lap 6, Davis suffered a tire issue which sent him into a high speed spin at one of the most challenging sections of the track. After managing to bring the car slowly back to the pits without any additional damage, he was able to recover one lap to the GTD class leaders despite having fallen three laps down.
“We were running good laps and trying to catch the cars ahead and we were making good work of that for a few laps,” said Davis. “I had absolutely zero warning on the tire, it failed in the worst possible spot in triple digits speeds in the middle of the Esses and I went spinning. It was fortunate that our car stayed rolling. I had to creep in really slowly but the Stevenson Motorsports guys made quick work of it. It wasn’t our day. We were doing everything that we were supposed to be doing, we just weren’t able to keep the tires under us for this race. It’s disappointing because we had a fast Audi R8 LMS all weekend. I was sure we had a win or at least a podium coming to us.”
Aschenbach didn’t let his track position hinder his performance as he put down the fastest lap of the race on Lap 38 at 1:44.364-seconds. Crossing the finish line 12th, the team was pleased to keep their heads down and bring home a race finish despite the adversity.
“The only word that really describes today is disappointing,” said Aschenbach. “We were fast all weekend and had a car that definitely could have won this race. I think we could have competed with (race winner) Change Racing today and unfortunately it just wasn’t our day. Three tire failures is a bit confusing so we’ll have to go back and figure out what happened. It’s frustrating because we knew we had the speed in the car and we were fine and ready to go. This is a bit of a kick to the gut right now.”
Team Strategist Mike Johnson was hopeful that the team could pull off a podium result but was frustrated by the group’s misfortune.
“It was a trying day at VIR,” said Johnson. “We had no issues up until the race so this has come as a bit of a surprise and we’re looking into why we had the issues that we did. Andrew (Davis) and Lawson (Aschenbach) handled themselves really well and gave great feedback and put us in a position to podium this weekend. Our crew and our engineers have been working hard to refine this set up and it showed in the fact that we had the fastest race lap. We are looking forward to Laguna and to proving once again that Stevenson Motorsports can run at the front.”
Stevenson Motorsports will compete in Round 11 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 21-24.
Source. Sunday Group