Stevenson Motorsports’ chances of repeating their victory at Watkins Glen ended with a coming together at the very first turn of the Continental Tire 200 at the Glen, limiting the team of John Edwards and Robin Liddell to just a 14th place finish in the Rolex Series GT class.
The North Carolina based team had won at a Watkins Glen just a month earlier in the six hour race at the New York State track and returned for a second visit of the year for a shorter two hour race on the shorter of the two layouts.
Edwards’ second fastest time in class from qualifying hinted at the chance of a repeat win for the team in the shorter race. However, Edwards was the innocent victim at turn one when Emil Assentato locked up the brakes on his AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 heading to the right hander, punting the Camaro off track and doing enough damage to force Edwards to pit at the end of the lap.
“I can’t think of the last time a race I was involved in was over at the first turn,” said team manager Mike Johnson, “but today it was. John was helpless as the No. 69 spun and took us out from behind in the first turn of the first lap. The guys in the pits did a super job making repairs and we were able to get Robin some points and finish 14th dropping us to fourth in the championship.”
The team lost half an hour in the pits before Liddell took the track in an attempt to salvage points as he and Edwards continue to chase the GT points lead into the final three rounds of the season.
“This was a very disappointing result for us as we were looking to recover from our low finish at Indy.” commented Scotsman Liddell. “Assentato in the Ferrari looked to just out-brake himself into turn one and he swerved left into the back of our car and hit it pretty hard. But it was the second hit which damaged the left rear suspension which necessitated repairs and put us out of contention.”
“We will continue to fight hard,” he continued, “as it is not over and will be going all out to maximize our points and at least win some of the remaining races.”
“It’s a shame to have the race over so soon when we could have had a strong result, but the Stevenson team did all they could and to have our race ended by someone else’s mistake is just out of our control. All we can do is fix the car and go back to Montreal, where the Camaro has been strong in the past,” Edwards said segueing towards the next rounf of the championship at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the Canadian city.