DAYTONA BEACH, FL (25 January 2019) — Despite entering the BMW Endurance Challenge with high hopes, Friday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge inaugural event instead turned into a disappointing day for Rebel Rock Racing.
Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell were looking to reprise their VIR podium performance along with Rebel Rock co-driver Frank Depew in the No. 71 Urban Grid / MVP Capital Chevrolet Camaro GT4 machine as the 2019 IMSA season opened at Daytona International Speedway on Friday.
Unfortunately, the race ended early after DePew suffered an off-track excursion that saw him make impact with the tire barrier at a high rate of speed. The damage was significant enough that even the hard-working Rebel Rock Racing crew had to call it a day.
“I went in full throttle through the kink, and I don’t think the tires were quite up to it,” DePew said. “It was the second time by. Just a mistake on my part. It was a good impact, but I went in backwards and had a lot of support from the car.”
DePew was released following a brief visit to the infield care center.
“I’m fine,” said the Richmond driver. “Racing with IMSA is the best thing that there is, because they have a medical staff right there. They checked me out and let me go.”
Co-drivers Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell were happy to see their teammate was OK, and are now looking forward to the remainder of the season.
“I’m bitterly disappointed for the team and for Frank,” Davis said. “It’s not the way you want to start the season. I’m thankful to see that Frank is OK. It’s a testament to Pratt and Miller, I’ve always said they build safe cars, because that was a big hit.”
DePew has worked to put the right talent in the right spots as he looks to build Rebel Rock Racing, with a lot of talented crew members behind the No. 71 Urban Grid Solar/MVP Capital Camaro GT4.R.
“Everybody is so emotionally invested in this Rebel Rock team,” Davis said. “Robin Liddell and every one of the crew are putting everything out to make it work. It’s disappointing, but now we’ll work even harder for the Sebring race. We’re looking forward to seeing the car coming back and running up front.”
Liddell is with Rebel Rock in a dual role, as both driver and team manager.
“To echo Andrew’s comments, I’m obviously very glad that Frank is OK,” Liddell said. “The car can be fixed and we can have another go. It’s a disappointing start to the season as we felt we had a good car; we’ve worked very hard to be fully prepared. It’s a shame for this to happen to Frank in his debut. Hopefully, we’ll go home and see what we can do to improve, and come back even stronger.
The next Michelin Pilot Challenge race will be a two-hour race on Friday, March 15, at Sebring International Raceway.