IMSA Spotlight: Lawson Aschenbach
Driver: No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS
The team had a strong run at Watkins Glen. Does that give you confidence heading into the second half of the season?
“Watkins Glen was a great weekend for us even though our finishes weren’t reflective of our pace. I feel Stevenson Motorsports is the best team in the paddock and the crew has been working flat out since January.
“I’m not going to lie, we were all a bit frustrated after a few rough races. We know what we are capable of and I believe we got the shot we needed to pump us all back up. Our confidence is high and we are primed for a big push during the second half of the season. We are looking forward to it!”
How has it been adapting to the Audi R8 LMS after a number of years in front-engined GT machinery?
“It’s been an easy transition for me moving over to the Audi R8 LMS. I started my career in open wheel racing, so gaining the downforce experience was instrumental in my switch over to the R8.
“The car has great high speed aero grip and braking performance, which allows you to push your limits as a driver. I felt at home in the car right away at Daytona and it’s proven to be a great car to race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.”
There’s been a lot of talk about driver ratings in both PC and GTD this year. What is your view on them, and if it was up to you, would you change anything?
“Driver ratings have put everyone in a very difficult position since its introduction. If you step back and look at it from both sides, you can see how it can help and hurt teams and drivers.
“It has created a great opportunity for Am drivers to learn the ropes of pro racing, but it has also destroyed some young competitors’ promising careers. Plus, it is very hard to quantify what makes someone an “Am” or “Pro” driver.
“Personally, I would like ratings to be eliminated as the only option for GTD and PC. I feel that we should have a Pro and Pro-Am category in each class. If someone would like to race in Pro-Am that would be their decision as long as one of the full time drivers is a Silver or Bronze.”
What track would you add to the 2017 WeatherTech Championship schedule if you had your choice?
“I would love to see Mid-Ohio added to the calendar! It’s one of my favorite tracks and is definitely one of the best in North America!
“Being a technical course, it challenges drivers to be very precise and is an exciting place for fans to watch.”
You recently became a Dad. How has your world changed?
“Becoming a father to a beautiful baby girl has been an incredible experience. It’s been exciting to see her grow and learn something new each week.
“My wife has been a rock star caring for her, while I’ve been traveling this year. I can’t wait to walk in the door after each trip to see her smiling at me. I didn’t realize how much love you could have until Grace was born!”