Stevenson Motorsports came away from Barber Motorsports Park with a victory and a second place finish in the Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
The Rolex Series saw an impressive display from John Edwards as he smashed the track record on his way to pole position, before leading the opening stages of the race. Edwards held the lead for thirteen laps before the team decided to pit for fuel and tyres while under full course caution.
The choice to get fresh rubber certainly paid off for Stevenson Motorsports as Edwards reeled in the cars ahead of him struggling on older tyres. Edwards had made it up to second by the time of the driver change, and a strong stop from the Stevenson mechanics meant that Robin Liddell left the pits still holding second place.
“We were going flat out the whole time,” said Edwards. “In a two hour race, those positions are really going to matter. The crew did an awesome stop. The driver change went perfectly, as did the tire changes. Robin got back out there and did a great drive.”
Liddell regained the lead for the Stevenson car with thirty-five minutes left on the clock. The closest challenge to Liddell’s lead came from the #63 Ferrari, but never came close enough to threaten the end result as Liddell gained Stevenson Motorsports’ first win of the season.
It was a busy afternoon for Edwards, though, as he swapped victory lane for the grid of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Matt Bell started in the driving seat of the #57 Camaro, dropping two positions off the line. The lost positions were quickly regained and Edwards took over control while the race was under a full course caution.
Edwards rejoined the race in 18th place before moving up to 7th after the rest of the field completed their stops. Back under racing conditions, Edwards managed to take the lead with just under one hour of the race left to run.
Another full course caution meant the lead that Edwards had managed to pull out was diminished. As the race restarted, a rare mistake from Edwards saw him miss a shift, allowing Plumb to take the lead. Despite Edwards’ lap times being significantly faster than the leader, he could not find a way to get back in to the top spot and gained Stevenson Motorsports’ second podium of the weekend with second place.
“I hate to sound depressed to be in second, but when you’re leading with 20 minutes to go and you make a rookie mistake, it’s a little disappointing,” said Edwards. “It’s that elusive double win. It would have been incredible to earn the second win today, but second place still feels great. The crew was on it all weekend long and the Camaro performed so well.”