Whelen Motorsports

Curran & Aschenbach Team-up for GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series

Backdraft •

Eric Curran remains with the CKS Autosport Chevrolet Camaro GS.R program in the 2012 GRAND- AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, as previously announced, but a change in co-drivers now pairs him with Lawson Aschenbach.

The green flag flies over the Continental Tire season-opener Jan. 27 at Daytona International Speedway, where the series is the opening act for the following day's 50th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona - America's longest major auto race.

""The original plan for the CKS Camaro was to pair Ashley McCalmont with me, like we did in 2011,"" said Curran. ""Chevrolet wanted to maximize its opportunities to win the Manufacturers Championship, so they paired Lawson and I. Ashley will be driving with Brett Sandberg.""

Aschenbach, from Gaithersburg, Md., (2010 Grand-Am CTSCC ST Champion, 2006 World Challenge GT Champion and 2011 World Challenge TC Champion) raced against Curran in the 2011 Continental Tire series, driving another Chevrolet Camaro.

""I've raced my Whelen World Challenge Corvette and CKS Camaro against Lawson in both GRAND-AM and SCCA events,"" Curran said. ""We've had some great races against each other over the years and I'm really looking forward to driving with him. We've both been driving Continental Camaros for a few years now, so we can compare notes and ideas going into this year. We'll be really strong teammates, and combined with Kirk Spencer's CKS Camaro, it's a great package.

""With the improvements Kirk and his crew have made to our new Camaros over the winter, based on 2011's initial full season, and what Ashley and I have learned, we're going to be a factor this year to run head-to-head with the Mustangs, Porsches, BMWs and other Camaros. And we want to make sure our Chevy Camaro's see the winners circle more than once in 2012.

""Ashley and I are still on the same team in 2012, but she'll have a new co-driver this year, and with the speed she found throughout the course of the last year with the Camaro, you'll see her running towards the front on a regular basis. She did a great job last year and really got fast towards the end of the season! I'm looking forward to working with her again in 2012.""

""I'm very honored to be back in a Chevy Camaro and to now be with CKS,"" said Lawson. ""Eric and I have known each other for a while now and he is a great talent. I'm looking forward to being his teammate for next season.

""It's also a bit of a homecoming for me with Kirk Spencer and CKS Autosport. I've had much success with them in the past and I believe with our collective efforts we will be able to compete for wins in the 2012 Grand-Am CTSCC GS Class.""

""The Chevrolet Camaro GS.R is a great racecar and I look forward to driving it again. I feel like all of the Camaro GS.R teams made much progress in 2011 and I think we will be able to take another step forward next season."",0000-00-00 00:00:00,Motorsports,Motorsports,Eric Curran
,Backdraft Goes Big in the Big Easy,"

New Orleans, LA-Jeremy Slifko and team Backdraft never give less than their best no matter what the situation. After a disappointing weekend in Houston the previous week, Slifko rebounded in a big way, taking home another awesome freestyle performance that landed him in the top half of the field.

"I said it last week--sometimes to win like the best, you have to take risks," said Slifko. "Luckily for us we have some great support--Whelen, CTEK, Butlerbuilt, and more--and the help we get from them lets us be more aggressive."

Slifko came out strong from the start, and even included a rarity in his routine--a slap wheelie, which requires great timing and aggressiveness on the part of the driver, as well as quick reactions to avoid rolling the truck over. Backdraft was flying all over the track, and when the run was over, it was not to be denied that the Superdome fans were happy about his performance.

"I live for these fans and what they do for us; we get to perform in front of them every week and it's the greatest thing I could ever ask for," said Jeremy. "I'm getting fans asking to have their picture put up on our web site too. It's all great."

Next up for Jeremy is Tampa, Florida this weekend. We'll have all the news from there!