Whelen Motorsports

Curran Anxious To Start 2012 GRAND-AM Racing Season


Following a productive 2011 racing season in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, veteran racer Eric Curran looks forward to the 2012 season's first green flags.

GRAND-AM's season begins with two races Jan. 27-29 at Daytona International Speedway, featuring the 50th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona - America's longest major auto race since 1966.

In the Rolex 24, Curran, of Deerfield, Mass., will race the #75 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R in the GT class with teammates Matt Bell, Al Carter and Hugh Plumb.

All GRAND-AM weekends throughout 2012 are double-duty for Eric. For the second year, he will begin the Continental Tire Series season in a CKS Autosport Chevrolet Camaro GS.R, on Jan. 27, the day before the Rolex race.

Eric is really looking forward to another season with team manager Kirk Spencer of CKS Autosport. "We learned a lot in our first full season with the Camaro and have really stepped it up for 2012. I'm excited to work with Ashley McCalmont again this season as she really got up to speed in the Camaro towards the end of last year. Kirk and the crew have been working hard all winter on the #00 and #01 Camaro's and we should be a big threat this up and coming season! " commented Eric.

Once the Rolex 24 At Daytona is in the record books, Eric will settle into the cockpit of the fire engine red #31 Whelen Chevrolet Corvette C6 for a third season of contesting the Rolex GT class races.

Curran hopes to capitalize on the best parts of his 2011 seasons with both teams, and look for a strong 2012 season in the Chevy CKS Camaro and Whelen Corvette.

On the final lap of the Rolex GT at Road America, Wis., last June 25, Curran brought the event's large crowd and its nationwide SPEED TV audience alive when he took the GT class lead halfway through the final lap and held it to the checkered flag to win the team's first Rolex race.

The half-second victory margin won the race for Curran, for his substitute co-driver John Heinricy, and especially for Ted Marsh, Sonny Whelen, and the whole Marsh racing team that worked so hard to get there.

Curran missed the next Watkins Glen and Montreal races due to a torn left Achilles suffered in a racing mishap, but returned for the season finale. "It was tough being out of the race car for over a month but I'm healed up and 100% ready to go for 2012."

Curran has raced Teddy Marsh-built Corvettes and other Chevrolet-based race cars for Teddy and for Sonny Whelen since 2007 in Grand Am Rolex, World Challenge GT, and NASCAR road course and oval track events.

"I'm really excited about all the changes GRAND-AM has made to the 2012 schedule," Curran said.

"The one that excites me most is racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I've never raced there before and I'm excited to drive a new track at a world-famous venue" The Rolex Sports Car Series race on July 27-29 is combined with a very popular NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend.

The traditional Memorial Day race weekend at Connecticut's Lime Rock Park has been promoted to the role of championships-deciding venue, with a season-ending date of Sept. 28.

"Lime Rock is always a big weekend for me, Sonny, Teddy, and Whelen Engineering," Curran said. "We are all New Englanders, so we draw a big crowd for that race. And not to mention this is the track that I basically grew up at and have won many races there over the years."

The upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening pitch of every GRAND-AM Racing season, will be Curran's fifth start in the world-famous race at Daytona. His best finish was a third place in class driving a Chevrolet Camaro.