Stevenson Motorsports has a rare opportunity at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with a chance to win its fourth straight Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race this weekend.
Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell have won the last three in the No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R over the last four months, but in entirely different ways.
The pair dominated Sebring, where the Camaro set a fastest race lap more than a second clear of the rest of the field, bar one other car.
Then, after a pair of IMSA’s Balance of Performance adjustments, the Davis/Liddell pair still won at both Monterey and Watkins Glen.
The Camaro got a 75-pound minimum weight addition and a three mm air restrictor decrease (from 68 to 65 mm) ahead of Monterey, and a further five mm reduction ahead of Watkins Glen (65 to 60 mm).
Stevenson has pressed on after the changes. Liddell said the wins have been by other factors beyond outright pace, as it was at Sebring.
“That’s just the thing actually,” Liddell told Sportscar365. “The Camaros really dominated Sebring, took a penalty, went to Laguna, and actually in fairness we won that race but we won it because of a strategic call (from Mike Johnson).
“We were quick enough but were by no means the quickest at the end of the race. As you remember, I was under a lot of pressure from the Mustang. We won that race I feel based on strategy.
“Having taken another penalty here, we’ve won again, but in very different circumstances.”
At Watkins Glen, Davis ran smoothly before handling to Liddell. Liddell passed the Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911 for the lead and before enough rain fell to ultimately end the race under yellow.
Liddell, a Stevenson veteran since 2008, has spoken of the overall package of the team as key to the success.
“I’ve worked with them for seven or eight years,” he said. “With Andrew co-driving, we’ve worked together for a long time.
“When there’s challenges, it helps to have had that length of service together to work and understand how it works in a pressured environment.”
Like Liddell, Davis has his sole full-season focus on the Continental Tire Challenge after a dual role between both it and the TUDOR Championship last year (co-drove with Patrick Dempsey).
Davis has started with Liddell finishing, and the combination continues to work well as the pair to seek to capture the title that only slightly eluded them in 2014.
“We’ve had two in a row but never three in a row,” Davis told Sportscar365. “Getting that one is a testament to how hard the Stevenson team is working, to push past the adversity.”
Davis said the Stevenson Camaro wouldn’t have been as well placed to win at Watkins Glen if not for the rain.
“I have to give credit to the rain as well,” he said. “The rain helped nullify some of the top speed issues we were facing in the dry sessions.
“Mentally it’s so much more difficult. Although our Camaro Z/28.R ran well, the track was treacherous to say the least.”
With the three-peat in the bank, the No. 6 Stevenson pair of Liddell and Davis has matched their win total of 2014, and repeated at the two tracks it could at Sebring and Watkins Glen.
Meanwhile, it’s actually the team’s No. 9 car that enters CTMP as defending race winners, with Matt Bell and Andy Lally driving.
Bell and new co-driver Lawson Aschenbach seek their first win as co-drivers this year. Bell has a pair of pole positions at Sebring and Monterey; the team has two podium finishes from the opening two races.
In both 2013 and 2014, Stevenson has reeled off three straight wins, but come up short of a fourth.
Liddell and John Edwards won from Barber through Detroit in Rolex Series GT in 2013, but were 10th at Mid-Ohio.
Meanwhile last year, Stevenson split three in a row between the No. 6 and No. 9 Camaros from Watkins Glen through Indianapolis, before coming up just short on the final lap at Road America.
Liddell and Davis look for four in a row this go-around in a different series, with a different car, but the same determined motivation.