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Old 09-11-2009, 09:09 AM   #1
heavyt100
 
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Donohue to race Camaro

FYI - just got this press release.

Danville, VA (September 11, 2009) - Stevenson Motorsports has announced that David Donohue and Jeff Bucknum will be driving a new Camaro October 4 in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Bosch Engineering Octoberfest race at Virginia International Raceway .

Below is the team release:

In 1969, Roger Penske, Mark Donohue and Ronnie Bucknum teamed up to bring home the SCCA Trans-Am Championship for Chevrolet. They drove 1969 Camaros that year, with the dark blue cars sponsored by Sunoco. This year, exactly 40 years after that championship season, another pair of drivers named Donohue and Bucknum will once again race in a Camaro wearing Sunoco blue colors.

David Donohue is the son of Mark Donohue. Jeff Bucknum is the son of Ronnie Bucknum. Both sons have well established credentials in the world of racing and, at the October 4th final round of the 2009 Grand-Am KONI Challenge season, they will join forces at the wheel of a brand new Camaro, built by Riley Technologies of Mooresville, North Carolina.

With a paint scheme created by ESBG Designs, the new Camaro will look very much like the 1969 model, which is as Chevrolet intended with the introduction of their new street version of the car.

Just as the fans will be excited to see the new Sunoco Camaro on track, Jeff Bucknum is already excited to be involved with this project, and with David Donohue, Team Manager Mike Johnson, and the whole Stevenson Motorsports organization.

Bucknum: "I am so excited to be a part of a program that brings so much history together in today's sports car racing. I have enjoyed working on setting up this program not only for personal reasons but also for the chance to get to know David Donohue. Although David and I have raced in the same circles for many years, and knew of each other, we never got to know each other. I now can say David is one of the true genuine nice guys in the racing industry and it's been my pleasure to work with him on getting this program going.

"To finally get the chance to have this program come together to race with David as my teammate is awesome. I really want to thank Johnny Stevenson and Mike Johnson for keeping the faith on getting this program off the ground as we have all been working on this for a long time!"

Mike Johnson is the Team Manager for the No. 57 Stevenson Pontiac GXP.R that races in the Grand-AM Rolex Series GT class. Johnson will head up the KONI effort as well, with the same professional crew members working with him to get the most out of the new Riley chassis.

Johnson: "The 69 Sunoco-Camaro is one of the most recognized race cars in the world and to be a part of its return is truly special. Having Donohue and Bucknum behind the wheel is really a once in a lifetime opportunity and I think the fans new and old are going to really appreciate this effort."

David Donohue has never been one to trade on his famous father's name, preferring to put together a resume built on his own talents. He has succeeded in doing just that with his most recent triumph coming at Daytona with his win in Rolex 24 Hours, driving a Brumos Porsche-Riley prototype.

For this unique opportunity to write a new chapter in the history of the Sunoco Camaro, Donohue has let himself embrace the idea of following in his father's footsteps.

"We are excited to have Sunoco on board with us," said Donohue, "and, for the first time in my career I am more comfortable with playing off my dad's reputation than I have ever been in the past. When I first started driving I really didn't understand my place or his place in racing or how his reputation might affect mine, or vice versa. Over time I have come to be more comfortable with my own abilities and accomplishments, and if I am a flop in this, I won't see it as a reflection on my father's record. All I can do is go out and do the best job I can and I am OK with that."

Donohue and Bucknum share an enthusiasm for working with the Stevenson Motorsports team, and this collaboration also marks the first time they have shared driving duties together.

Donohue: ""I think this experience is going to be a lot of fun. I think Johnny Stevenson and his team have done a fantastic job in the Rolex Series. He has a great crew and I am looking forward to working with all of them. Johnny has always struck me as one of the 'good guys' in the paddock and someone who is sincere. I'm also excited for Jeff to see this finally come to be reality after putting so much effort into making it happen."

Bucknum: "I think Mike Johnson is currently the best race strategist in sports car racing! All you had to do was watch the Montreal Grand-Am race this last weekend to see him magically make the right call again to position the Stevenson Motorsports team for the WIN!"

Winning takes practice combined with experience and more than a dash of good fortune. To try and align these elements in a winning pattern, the team has scheduled a shakedown session at Kershaw on September 28th, a week before the VIR race.

Donohue: "I think the new car looks fantastic and I have driven the street car already. I am looking forward to the race version, especially since it is being built by Bill Riley. He is pretty efficient in the way he puts things together and he will be with us at VIR for track support. Unfortunately the car will only be ready very close to race day which means we will really be shaking the car down in the public eye. That can easily backfire on us but we need to get it out there this year. I think it is an ambitious goal but an admirable one."

Bucknum: "It's going to be very interesting for us to debut this car at the last race of the year in the KONI Series. I believe we have all the right pieces in place to be a winning effort with a winning team like Stevenson Motorsports, a great crew of guys and a great driver lineup with David and myself. The only factor now is seeing how well the car will perform right out of the box. I know the Camaro will be a winner, but it's always hard to say in racing how a car will perform in its debut race."

"I am really happy we are getting a chance to test the Camaro at Kershaw before the debut race at VIR for the Camaro. It's always nice to have a chance to get even a few laps around a race track with a new car just to make sure all the components are working properly before you drive it in anger. I have no doubt that between Riley technologies and the Stevenson Motorsports team we will be able to get the Camaro dialed in quickly."

Johnson: "Right now, we don't even have a race car, so I don't have the highest hopes for a good result. We are just going to use the race as a very long test session to prepare the car for next year. I think VIR should be fun!"

The Grand-Am KONI Challenge Bosch Engineering Octoberfest race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) will take place on Sunday, October 4.

More information about the Stevenson Motorsports team, and the new Stevenson performance shop, can be found at www.stevensonmotorsports.com

For more information on the Grand-Am KONI Challenge, go to www.grand-am.com

Stevenson Motorsports operates out of a facility located in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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Wow what a great story to read! I had the good fortune of meeting Mark Donohue at Riverside Raceway in California back in the early 70's at the very first International Race of Champions and he signed my pit pass which I still have. He was a genuine class act and as down-to-earth as you could ask for.

This is just fantastic that the sons of a great team are getting together to run the Sunoco/Camaro colors again!
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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I didn't figure the SEMA concept would come to life ...
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don't believe a thing you read about the next gen Camaro -- as history has proven time and time again:

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