2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge champions Stevenson Motorsports will make their return to the series in 2017 as the team launches an effort with the all-new Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Stevenson Motorsports drivers Matt Bell and Robin Liddell will share the driving duties in the all new machine, which is slated to debut at Circuit of the Americas in Round 3 of the 2017 championship.
Stevenson Motorsports made their debut in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in 2009 with a Camaro entry, competing in the championship for seven seasons with 96 race starts. The team also successfully competed in the Rolex Series with a GT Class Camaro GT.R from 2010-2013, scoring multiple victories including dramatic wins at Montreal and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We are really pleased to be joining Chevrolet again, it is just a natural fit for us and there is a lot of excitement about this new Camaro and the GT4 cars in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge,” said team owner Johnny Stevenson. “We’ve got an outstanding team and we are well prepared to once again be racing in both of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and IMSA WeatherTech events during these IMSA weekends. Hopefully we can get off to a quick start at COTA and be a factor once again this season!”
The 2015 season saw Liddell and his Stevenson Motorsports co-driver Andrew Davis secure the GS championship title on the strength of four wins and four additional podiums in their No. 6 Chevy Camaro Z/28.R.
Bell and Liddell both have extensive experience in GS class competition behind the wheel of a Camaro, with six seasons under their belts as well as a combined 13 race victories for Stevenson Motorsports.
“I am so excited to be coming home to the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge,” said Bell. “With all the new cars and competition, I don’t at all see this as a step backward from the WeatherTech Championship. Rather, I see this as an awesome opportunity to represent a company that I truly enjoy being with. The Stevenson Motorsports team had proven in their last season of GS competition that they are really second-to-none in preparation and execution in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge racing.
“There’s no team I’d rather be working for in that paddock. Surely they’ll take everything learned the last time we ran a Camaro and apply it to the new GT4 car. I’ve heard some really great things about the new Gen 6 GT4 Camaro so I can’t wait to try it myself! I’ve spent most of my career, at this point, with a bowtie on my hood and it feels great to have another opportunity to do it again! I’ve looked up to Robin (Liddell) the entire time I’ve been with Stevenson Motorsports and it’s great to have a chance to finally share a GS car with him. We seem to prefer the car setup in a similar way. I think that will streamline the tuning process and give us a head start on our competition each weekend.”
Liddell and Bell, who has shown to be a record-setting qualifier, will look to bring a new chapter of success to the team with the sixth-generation 6.2L LT1 V8 Chevrolet Camaro. The GT4 machine is anticipated to make its competition debut at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas for Round 3 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Championship in May following an on-track testing program.
“Obviously I’m delighted to return to the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series with Stevenson Motorsports and especially with the latest Camaro GT4 platform,” said Liddell. “After enjoying so much success with the Camaro in the past in both the GT and GS classes, it almost feels like a sort of homecoming. I know how excited John and Susan (Stevenson) are to get back to racing Camaros, especially since they have a Chevrolet dealership in their home town in Swansboro, North Carolina.
“To be teamed up with Matt (Bell), the guy who once had the most pole positions in the history of the series, and a team like Stevenson, seems to me to be the perfect package. Obviously it’s a shame that we couldn’t get out for the start of the season, but in a way it takes the pressure off and we can just focus on working with the new car and trying to win some races. I’m excited!”
In addition to the GS class program with Matt Bell and Robin Liddell sharing the No. 57 Camaro GT4.R., Stevenson Motorsports will continue to target a championship in the WeatherTech GTD class with drivers Andrew Davis and Lawson Aschenbach behind the wheel of the No. 57 Audi R8 LMS for the full season, with Matt Bell joining them for the Sebring 12 hour and Petit Le Mans. The Stevenson Motorsports 2017 IMSA GTD effort got off to a strong start at Daytona, logging a near perfect run through challenging conditions to finish on the lead lap in fourth, just five seconds shy of a class victory and .270-seconds shy of a podium finish.