LAKEVILLE, Conn. (14 July 2021) – Rebel Rock Racing will be looking to bounce back from two disappointing weekends at Watkins Glen International when the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge visits scenic Lime Rock Park during the annual Northeast Grand Prix Weekend.
Frank DePew and Robin Liddell will co-drive the No. 71 Urban Grid Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R in the two-hour Lime Rock 120, set to take the green flag at 11:05 a.m. on Saturday.
This will be DePew’s first race at the seven-turn, 1.478-mile classic circuit. He missed the event two years ago due to a schedule conflict, when Liddell set the fastest lap and joined Andrew Davis in a fifth-place finish. Last year’s race was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“We’re heading to Lime Rock on Wednesday to get ready to get going again,” Liddell said. “Watkins Glen was very unfortunate – end of story. We have to move forward and we’re looking forward to Lime Rock. I think we’ll fare better there.”
Liddell has enjoyed success at Lime Rock in all the different variations of the Camaro that has competed in IMSA and Grand-Am, with his most recent victory in 2017 with Stevenson Motorsports with the GT4.R, in addition to a pair of Grand-Am Rolex Series GT triumphs in 2011 and 2012.
“I personally enjoy Lime Rock,” Liddell said. “I like that part of the world. It’s a very nice place and the track’s good fun. We’ve done quite well there in the past, and we’ve had great success with all of the Camaros I’ve driven – the GT4 car and the Z-28. The car’s always done quite well there.”
Also a rules adjustment to the Balance of Performance should help the team this weekend.
“We’ve had a slight BOP break for this event,” he explained. “They took 20 kilos off the car for this weekend, so we will have a slight improvement in performance. I think that will definitely help us. I’m excited for this weekend.”
Since DePew has yet to race at the circuit, he joined Liddell for a recent Lime Rock track day.
“Lime Rock is definitely a flowing track, and you have to get into a rhythm,” DePew said. “I’m happy to have had the opportunity with the track day to understand it a little bit better before I get there with the race car for the first time in the race car. It’s critical to get up to speed there and get on pace as quickly as possible. With a really short lap from a time perspective – running laps in the high 40-second range – that’s going to be a lot of laps in a short period of time.”
The Michelin Pilot Challenge recently raced on back-to-back weekends at Watkins Glen, with the move necessitated by the cancellation of the event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The car was badly damaged in an accident very early in the June 26 event, when DePew swerved to avoid a misplaced sponsor sign in Turn 8 on the seventh lap.
That incident requiring a massive rebuild at the circuit for the second race on Friday, July 2. However, the steering rack failed in the early laps of the event, sending the car for a lengthy trip to the paddock. Fortunately for the team, no major repairs were required following the second race.
“The only thing we needed after the second race at the Glen to do was to replace the steering components,” Liddell said. “We believe we picked up some debris in one of the lines in the first accident, and that was what compromised the steering rack. We put a replacement steering rack and steering pump on the car after the accident, but we think there must have been some contamination in one of the lines. But other than that, the car was good to go.”
The Lime Rock round opens the second half of the 10-race Michelin Pilot Challenge season, and DePew is looking forward to getting back on the podium.
“It’s pretty important for us to bounce back from Watkins Glen,” DePew said. “I hate to follow Watkins Glen with a track like Lime Rock, where I have never raced before. I was really confident at Watkins Glen, and I felt really good about the car and our overall chances. It didn’t work out, though, but hopefully we can turn it around this weekend.”
Lime Rock will host a pair of practice sessions on Friday at 10:05 a.m. and 1:25 p.m. (all times ET), followed by GS qualifying at 4:40 p.m.