John Edward qualified the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro second on the grid for the start of the Grand-Am Rolex Series race, the Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan. The race then unfolded between the concrete barriers that line this street circuit with Edwards and co-driver Robin Liddell claiming a third place finish at the end.
The podium finish has moved the team into second place in the championship standings for the season and the move up comes just as the series enters a hectic phase with four races being run within a one month's window of time.
Starting second behind the Extreme Motorsport No. 03 Ferrari, Edwards quickly settled in to a fuel conservation mode, content to ride behind the Ferrari looking to maintain a consistent gap being fully aware the Ferrari simply had the pace it needed to stay in front.
Team Manager Mike Johnson: "We knew we couldn't catch the Ferrari and as our car could only run about 52 minutes on a tank of fuel, John did a great job of saving fuel and probably could have stretched it to an hour plus, so we were in relatively good shape."
With a pace on pavement that required both finesse to stay between the concrete barriers at speed and orchestrated perfection while stationary on pit lane, the Stevenson team found they could almost do both well enough to stay in the hunt. An uncharacteristically delayed pit stop detracted somewhat from the stellar efforts exhibited by Edwards and Liddell at speed.
Johnson: "We got a yellow at about 30 minutes in to the race so we decided to pit to fill up, change tires, and do a driver change."
Unfortunately most of the rest of the GT field had made the same decision at the same time and the race to exit the pits was won by the competition.
Johnson: "We didn't execute the driver change as we should have. The delay caused us to lose a few spots on pit lane and we went back out in third. With 58 minutes to go, we had another yellow and pitted for fuel only, like most of the leaders, and again left pit lane in third. After that, no one in the top seven or so cars was able to pass and so we finished third."
Robin Liddell confirmed the minor setback when he said, "When we stopped under the first yellow, we lost three places in the pits when everyone had