After a year with just a singular Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge focus in 2015, albeit a successful season in capturing the GS class championship with Robin Liddell for Stevenson Motorsports, Andrew Davis will return to a double-barrel, 20-plus race schedule next season.
The talented Georgia native will be back in IMSA’s top level as he and Liddell will continue together, now in a new Audi R8 LMS in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class.
Meanwhile he’ll also branch out to Pirelli World Challenge and return to his Porsche roots, in one of the manufacturer’s new 911 GT3 Rs in the GT class for Calvert Dynamics with Phoenix Performance.
It will see Davis back to the busy level of racing he last experienced in 2014, when he co-drove with Patrick Dempsey in the then-TUDOR Championship and also debuted the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R with Liddell in the Continental Tire Challenge.
Both opportunities have been finalized in the last month, following the final release of the 2016 FIA Driver Ratings.
Although a pro driver, coach and a past champion in both the Continental Tire Challenge and the Rolex GT series, by the regulations written in place by the FIA, Davis falls under the Silver rating.
“I always feel fortunate to be able to do what I do and drive race cars,” Davis told Sportscar365. “Things worked out.
“I’ve been laying the groundwork since 2008 with Stevenson Motorsports. I’m a Stevenson driver. It’s a great opportunity to get back into the WeatherTech series.
“I’m happy to return to my team and take my rightful spot. Audis will be great cars for us. We’ll get back to the marquee events and run for a championship.”
The team has taken delivery of its new chassis, and the car premiered at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis this month. Stevenson should undertake its first public test with the new car at January’s Roar Before the Rolex 24.
Davis and Liddell, meanwhile, signed off their GM stints for the time being during the Chevrolet Champions’ Celebration at the GM Heritage Center last week.
The step back to WeatherTech comes after Stevenson’s two-year singular focus on the Continental Tire Challenge. Despite a car that lacked top-end speed as 2015 went on, Davis and Liddell were the model of consistency, with top-five results in every race including four wins to secure Stevenson’s overdue first title.
In World Challenge, Davis will enter into a stacked GT class that will see upwards of perhaps 10 manufacturers and likely more than 20 cars competing for overall victories.
He was on site at most 2015 rounds serving as Preston Calvert’s driver coach. Calvert was instrumental in putting the opportunity together for Davis to enter the sprint race series for the first time.
“Preston Calvert and the Calvert Dynamics group have given me an amazing opportunity,” Davis said.
“I’m a very fortunate person, to have a go at two different platforms in these GT3. The Porsche GT3 R looks a stout piece. I’m familiar with Porsche products on the racetrack.
“It’s a new step for a very successful team in Phoenix Performance, and with the personnel we’ve surrounded ourselves with. It’ll be a bit of a learning curve to step into such a competitive series.
“It’s different for sure. But I’ve been so fortunate to have so much seat time. I consider myself pretty versatile in GT racing.”