It’s a traditional lineup for a stalwart race team at an iconic event with Stevenson Motorsports aiming for glory at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The race team just announced plans to field the No. 57 Audi R8 LMS for next month’s twice-round-the-clock classic in the GT Daytona class.
The team’s four full-season drivers from last year, Lawson Aschenbach, Matt Bell, Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell return for another bout in the ’24.’ The quartet returns after their series debut in last year’s event, which resulted in a 14th place finish in class.
The 57 is a special number for the team, one that has not been run since 2013 with the fan-favorite Camaro GT-R in the GT class of the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. First run in 2004, the team captured a variety of wins with the class entry.
After successful campaigns in both the Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Stevenson fielded a two-car Audi effort in 2015. The effort led to 95% completion of all race laps, four podiums and nine Top 5 finishes.
“I’m really excited to have the 57 back on our car again this year, and you really just couldn’t ask for a better line up than what we’ve got with these guys,” said team owner Johnny Stevenson. “We learned a lot with the Audi last year and we are miles ahead of where we were with the car at this point last year, so we have a lot better feel for what we will need for Daytona. Through the years, our results have just not been what we’ve been looking for in the 24. So hopefully between putting all our focus on one car, having this driver line up, and getting a little luck with having the 57 on the car, we can get the season off to a big start!”
The highly successful sports car team overcame a number of challenges in last year’s season. The team benefitted from a long-time relationship with GM, playing part of the development role in the GS-spec Camaro used in Continental Tire Challenge competition. The switch to Audi’s complete customer program forced the team to rethink how they developed their race cars throughout the season, but the team looks to step up to the challenge.
The familiar driver lineup will not be the only familiar faces in the Stevenson pit next year as strategist, Mike Johnson, and crew chief, Mike Hoffman, return to the team and look to build on a strong year of learning with last year’s new machinery.
The 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona takes the green flag on January 28, 2017.
Featured Image: Photos By Juha