Stevenson Motorsport‘s domination in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series came to an end in Mid-Ohio, with a collision and a pit penalty forcing the team to settle for tenth place.
The weekend had started well, with John Edwards setting a new track record on his way to pole position and then dominating the opening stages of the race before handing over to team-mate Robin Liddell.
“The car was good – we rolled off really well,” said Edwards. “We made a couple of changes throughout practice just little things to help the car but the opening stint was good. The track was a bit low grip with a few rain showers. Starting from the pole is a good spot to be in, but once Bill Auberlen got in the 94 car it proved that their car had an edge on us and the 31 car also had an edge there at the end. Ultimately I don’t think we could have won this race but we could have made up a lot of ground in the championship finishing third or fourth.”
Despite leading the most laps of the race, the team’s promising start ended when Liddell made contact with a Ferrari, causing a right-rear puncture and forcing the #57 Camaro back in to the pits for repairs. Liddell was then brought back in once again for a 60 second penalty, forcing him to drop a lap down.
“We threw away a probable podium finish today which at this point of the season we can’t afford that kind of mistake,” said Liddell. “I’m really unhappy about it, but it’s something internal we’ll talk about and make sure doesn’t happen again.”
“I don’t think four wins in a row was in the cards for us today but four podiums in a row for sure,” added team manager Mike Johnson. “The team really did a great job. We’d been running strong, had a pole, led the most laps. We came down pit lane on a different lap than everybody else so that we would have it all to ourselves. The 61 car came in with us and were quicker out and we were in a drag race out of the pits with the 61. It definitely wasn’t Robin’s fault and it definitely wasn’t the 61’s fault. We apologize to them for ruining their race. It was just a team error and we won’t let it happen again.”