Eric Curran, Boris Said, and the Whelen Motorsports team arrived at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last weekend with the #31 Whelen Corvette for the Montreal 200; the eleventh round in the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
Circuit Gilles Villenueve is a fast and technical street circuit, with 14 turns spanning a distance of 2.71 miles.
"Montreal is always a fun weekend. We have always qualified well there with two poles but have struggled for final results. In practice, we found a good set up for the car and ran some fast consistent runs prior to the race."
"The car developed a power steering issue in the second practice but the Marsh Racing crew got on it quickly and had it fixed before qualifying. Boris did a great job of qualifying P3 with a 1:39.692 in the Whelen / Team Fox Corvette for Saturday morning's race."
The weather was perfect come race day and Boris had a great opening stint, where he ran in the P3 spot for the first forty-five minutes behind the #57 Camaro and the #59 Porsche.
Eric jumped into the #31 Corvette around the halfway point of the two hour sprint. During the pit stop, a lug nut jammed and the Corvette lost a few spots but came out of the pits in P6. A good battle with the Mazda and Porsche gained Eric a few spots, but the power steering issue from practice showed itself again.
"Unexpectedly, it caught me out in the middle of a corner and I spun. What started as a good day started to go down hill. I continued on and finished in 7th place while fighting hard against the steering issue. I felt like we had a good chance for the podium in our Whelen / Team Fox Corvette."
"On the NASCAR side of things, I was really excited to run my first full Nationwide race at a track that I really love. Montreal is such a cool track in a great town."
"We had few good practice runs on Friday morning running around the top fifteen. Later that afternoon we made a few more changes to the #53 Team Fox Dodge and I qualified 14th out of forty-five. It was not a perfect lap, but a decent one. It was a little tough trying to feel out the handling of a car that I have not driven much before."
Considering the competition around him in qualifying, Eric managed to out qualify some big players including the Nationwide points leaders.
"I had a great start to the Nationwide race! I jumped up to P12 right away and quickly got into a good race pace. Four laps in though, the shifter got stuck in third gear. We fixed the issue, but it happened again and we decided to call it quits."
"It really is too bad. I had a good car and had a great feeling about the race. I was really hoping for a good run in NDS Motorsports and Team Fox Dodge, as it had a ton of potential. Although we did not get the race that was desired, it was good to get some NASCAR Nationwide seat time and beat out a lot of the regulars."
Follow the Whelen Motorsports team on to the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 9th for the next round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The race will be televised live on SPEED on 9/9 at 3:00 PM ET.
Be sure to check out the entire photo gallery and the video above from the Montreal 200 at Watkins Glen International on the Eric Curran Facebook page.
ABOUT WHELEN ENGINEERING:
Whelen Engineering Inc. was founded in 1952 by George W. Whelen III with the development of a rotating aircraft "anti-collision beacon" product that quickly found use with police, fire and public safety departments across the country and around the world.
Whelen is now the world's largest designer and manufacturer of emergency visual and audible warning products. Whelen is the only United States manufacturer of emergency warning equipment that continues to design and manufacture all of its products entirely in the United States.
Whelen is the entitlement sponsor of three NASCAR grass-roots racing series and is the major corporate sponsor of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., the designer and supplier of bobsleds to the USA Bobsled Team, including the "Night Train" four-man bobsled that won the Olympic Gold Medal at the Vancouver Olympics.
Located in Chester, CT, Whelen Engineering is owned by George W. "Sonny" Whelen IV, son of the company's founder. The company's website is www.Whelen.com