IMSA • October 07, 2015
BRASELTON, G.A. (October 4, 2015) - Action Express Racing finished the season championship first with the #5 car and third with the #31 Whelen Corvette in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Dane Cameron and Eric Curran claimed two wins in their first season co-driving together in the Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype.
The #31 Whelen Engineering Corvette and the #5 Mustang Sampling Corvette came into the season finale tied for second place and trailing the Tudor season championship leader Visit Florida Corvette team by six points. Understanding the importance of winning one of the most difficult endurance races in the world, the North Carolina based team held steadfast to team manager Gary Nelson’s ’Expect to Win’ motto and rose to the occasion, claiming the team’s fourth victory of 2015 and repeating a complete championship sweep with the #5 car.
"This was a team win in every way possible," said Nelson. "Throughout the race both of our cars were in position to win the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and that’s a testament to everyone who works at Action Express Racing. We had a major challenge entering the race but as a team we kept our heads down and did all of the small things which in-turn add up to the big thing and that was winning the race and both championships."
Complicating an already challenging event were periods of torrential downpours, at one point resulting in a one hour and four minute red flag condition. Ultimately, Mother Nature would have the final say as the scheduled ten-hour event was ended at 7:51:12. With the extreme weather and the known potential of having the race conclude prior to the scheduled distance, Action Express Racing put their two Corvette DPs on opposite strategies to claim the victory and the championship.
"We knew from the drivers briefing that the potential existed to have a rain shortened event," said Nelson. "Understanding that our team was able to pit the Mustang Sampling Corvette DP and the Whelen Engineering Corvette DP at opposite times to keep the lead in the event. You didn’t know when the race was going to stop but we wanted to protect our seat at the head table and thankfully our plan worked out."
While narrowly missing out on their own championship triumph due to the time in which the race was called complete, Eric Curran and Dane Cameron made a statement in their first season together with Action Express Racing. The duo claimed victory in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, then lead the way for an Action Express Racing 1-2 sweep at Road America in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
"We really had a great season in our No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP," said driver Eric Curran. "It was tough to miss winning the championship by only 10 min after I had just led for the last 45 min. I guess its just how this goes sometimes. I sure wish IMSA called the race 10 min earlier and we would of had the championship. But Im happy for the #5 team and very happy to have won two races and challenged for the championship all the way to the closing minutes of the season. This was a major accomplishment for Dane and myself in our first season with Action Express Racing. We were all a completely new group of people creating this team at the beginning of the season and we just grew together throughout the year. We’re already counting down to Daytona and ready to get out of the box strong and go for the championship again next season.
"We couldn’t have done this without Sonny Whelen and Whelen Engineering. Whelen has done so much for my career and does so much to support racing all over the world. This was a great season combined with Action Express, but the best is yet to come. I couldn’t be any happier to be part of Whelen Engineering and Action Express Racing and feel the strongest I’ve ever felt in the car"
Curran’s co-driver Dane Cameron entered the season as the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar reigning GTD champion. While he didn’t add another TUDOR timepiece to his collection, he became the winningest driver in the TUDOR Era with his seventh class win coming at Road America.
"Hats off to everyone at Action Express Racing," said Cameron. "Obviously we wanted to win the championship, but this was an amazing year when you consider everything that we accomplished as a group on the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP. We were all new to each other at the beginning of the season, and throughout the season we continued to get stronger.
"Our season hit a major upswing when we got to Detroit. We scored that first victory and at that point we knew we could win more races and challenge for the championship. Our pit stops were phenomenal, I would say the best stops on pit road for the entire second half of the season came from our Whelen Engineering crew guys and that was a major factor in our victories. We have all the pieces to be seated at the head table next October and hopefully that’s where we’ll be."
In completing a second championship sweep, Action Express Racing and ECR delivered another engine manufacturers championship to Chevrolet. The team delivered four of the eight Corvette DP victories in the 2015 season. Those victories and consistency throughout the campaign also secured a second consecutive chassis constructors’ championship for Coyote Production Management.
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