INDIANAPOLIS — official release — Michael Levitt/LAT photo — The new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R and Stevenson Motorsports have proven to be the combination to beat in the car’s first year of Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition.
That was true once again Friday as Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis co-drove to their third victory of the season in the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Liddell drove the No. 6 Stevenson Automotive Group Camaro Z/28.R to the checkered flag 3.494 seconds ahead of Trent Hindman in the No. 46 Trim-Tex/Cirroco Ozzimo BMW M3. It was the fourth win in eight races for Stevenson Motorsports and the third straight for the team after Andy Lally and Matt Bell won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park two weeks ago in the No. 9 Camaro Z/28.R.
Liddell and Davis also won two races ago at Watkins Glen International and in March at Sebring (Fla.) Int’l Raceway.
“The car is a great car and the team has done a super job to have both team cars in contention for the last number of races,” Liddell said. “We worked really hard over the winter and in those early races did a huge amount of development to get it to the point where we are now.”
It was a tale of two races for Stevenson Motorsports. Bell started the team’s No. 9 Camaro Z/28.R from the pole and was in contention for much of the first part of the race. A mechanical issue followed by a three-car incident involving Lally, the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R of Lawson Aschenbach and the No. 46 entry, relegated Lally and Bell to a 19th-place finish.
The incident knocked out two of Liddell’s closest competitors, allowing the Scot to conserve fuel and tires en route to the win.
By finishing second, the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 team extended its lead in the GS-class standings, while Hindman also was able to extend his points lead in the driver standings. Co-driver John Edwards did not meet the minimum drive time required to score points at Kansas Speedway and thus does not share the lead in the driver standings with Hindman.
Shelby Blackstock and Joey Atterbury finished third in the No. 48 Starstruck/Trianon Hotels BMW M3.
Corey Lewis and Cody Ellsworth pulled off an upset Street Tuner (ST) class victory in their No. 50 BERG Racing Porsche Cayman Friday.
Poised for its second consecutive ST win, the No. 04 BBA Accounting/DE Labs Porsche Cayman of Remo Ruscitti slowed on course on the final lap of the two-hour, 30-minute Brickyard Sports Car Challenge, allowing Lewis to make the pass for the win.
It was the first career win for both Lewis and Ellsworth, who were co-driving together for the first time.
“I didn’t know anything happened to (No.) 04 literally until we were passing them,” said Lewis. “I was screaming on the radio ‘Is this true, is this really happening?’ We were right on the money with the fuel, I think we had three or four laps left. It worked out, we just won Indianapolis.”
Ruscitti made what looked to be the winning pass on the No. 23 Automotive Chemicals BMW Group BMW 128i of Terry Borcheller with 27 minutes remaining and held nearly a two-second lead over Borcheller with two minutes remaining. Borcheller then ran out of fuel coming to the white flag, ducking to pit road and allowing Lewis to move into the second position.
One lap later, Ruscitti slowed on course. It was a heartbreaking defeat for him and co-driver Adam Isman after starting from the pole and leading much of the final portion of the race. Ruscitti was able to coast across Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s famed “yard of bricks” for a fifth-place finish.
The No. 42 Sahlen’s Porsche Cayman of Wayne and Will Nonnamaker finished second — the team’s third podium in the last four races — while the No. 56 Mosing Motorcars BMW 328i of class points leader Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss came home third.