The Championship-leading Stevenson Motorsports team was in strong form once again on Friday in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge qualifying as Matt Bell scored his second consecutive TOTAL Pole position with a fast lap time of 1:35.765-seconds in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Bell will open the race from behind the wheel before turning the car over to co-driver Lawson Aschenbach to take to the finish.
"I think we hit the timing on the money," said Bell of his run. "Everyone behind me had to deal with cars heating up the track – the more rubber you're putting down in front of somebody, the worse traction they're going to have. On a track like this it's very greasy and slippery. So to be able to put down my lap (inaudible) is exactly what we needed to do. We got really, really lucky, the car was already falling off on Lap 2. The Stevenson Motorsports guys did an incredible job. I didn't get too many laps in with the red flags during practice and as happy as I am with my performance, I'm just a small part of the team. These guys did a phenomenal job and I'm very confident that they're going to bring a car that we need for tomorrow."
The championship-leading No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R entry of Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell will start third on the grid for Saturday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix after Davis posted a quick time of 1:36.046-seconds to lock in a spot on the inside of row two.
"The Stevenson Motorsports guys have done a great job," said Davis. "Both our Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.Rs are running great. Congrats to Matt (Bell) and the No. 9 crew because they had an awesome lap. I wasn’t going to be able to match that. We saw that some other cars were going to start getting close to what P2 was at the time, so we tried to put one more in. By then the tires were done. We’re carrying some weight, and it works the tires really hard. I’m still very proud of the guys. We made some progress. We were good this morning, fell back in the middle session, and the car in qualifying was the best it’s felt but not quite there. We just need to work on longevity for the long run. We’re in the points lead going in here, Robin and I. We just need to maintain that and come out with a decent finish. So far it’s looking good for Stevenson Motorsports and Team Chevy."
"It's a good start," said team manager Mike Johnson. "We had to overcome a little bit with the additional weight and loss of air restrictor (per IMSA adjustment of performance). We did a day of testing at Roebling Road and played with some new things. It's great for Matt (Bell). This is his home track, his family lives just down the road, and it's his mom's birthday today. It's just a great start for the team. It's been a really good beginning of the year. We just have to keep this momentum going. We're going to have to bring our A game every race if we want to stay up front."