IMSA • March 19, 2015
DENVER, NC (March 18, 2015) - After posting a second and fourth place finish in the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona, Action Express Racing has two cars poised to compete for victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
While neither team experienced a flawless run at Daytona, both the Mustang Sampling and Whelen/Team Fox Corvette Daytona Prototype entries showed the championship poise which led Action Express Racing to one a convincing sweep of the inaugural 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Tequila PatrÃ³n North American Endurance Cup.
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Chevrolet Corvette DP completed a successful two-day test at the historic Hendricks Field, more commonly referred to as Sebring Raceway since 1950. The defending series champions pushed the limits of their Corvette over the weathered racing surface and came away feeling extremely satisfied with the results.
"We had good speed and the car performed flawlessly," said Christian Fittipaldi. "Our car was incredible here last year and I feel like the team has found some ways to make it even better. Which is good, because as we saw at Daytona the competition has really stepped up this year in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and I think the racing in the twelve hours is going to be spectacular."
For the No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP team the Rolex 24 announced their official arrival as 2015 championship contenders. While the team had a mechanical setback early in the race, they were rallied by veteran leader Max Papis and his "never give up" attitude. The team rallied for 22 hours and brought home an impressive fourth place finish, posting the fastest lap of the race, a pace they plan to ride into Sebring Raceway.
"Eric and Dane are great drivers to be teamed with," said Papis. "The two of them embody a never give up mentality and they are both skilled behind the wheel. They also both have wins at Sebring in different levels of competition so they know the track and the demands it places on you and I think that puts the Whelen/Team Fox Corvette in an excellent position to win the Twelve Hours of Sebring."
While Action Express Racing didn’t win in their first start in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring last year, the two-car team from North Carolina does have another first in mind for this years’ once-around-the-clock marathon of speed.
A win by Action Express Racing would be the first victory for a Chevrolet powered car since the Chaparral 2 in 1965, which will return to Sebring Raceway for a semi centennial celebration of that victorious drive.
No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Chevrolet Corvette DP
Eric Curran..."I’m really excited to race the Sebring 12hr in our No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette. Action Express Racing fields such great cars and it’s an honor to be paired with Dane Cameron and Max Papis and have a great opportunity to win the 12 Hours of Sebring.
"Sebring is a tough racetrack. The track surface consists mostly of concrete sections from the World War II airfield it’s built on. It has really fast corners combined an extremely bumpy surface which makes it a huge challenge. The racecar takes a serious beating as well as the driver. I can say that this is one of the toughest racetracks in the US. If you and your car can survive 12 hours and still maintain speed, you’re going to have a great result."
Dane Cameron..."I am really excited about the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The 12 hours is one of my favorite events of the season by far. I love the track and the event has such great history and the diehard Sebring fans are unlike anything else in the world. As a new group I think everyone on the Whelen Engineering car was really gelling well together by the end of the Rolex 24 and I can’t wait to get back to the track now. We had a good run at Daytona and it was great to leave with fourth place after an early issue but we will be looking to put the #31 Corvette on the podium in Sebring.
"Sebring is an incredibly bumpy and physical race track and it is always a challenge to recover between your stints as it can be quite hot and you don’t get much rest time out of the car. I will be cranking out laps in my shifter kart like a maniac leading up to the race to be sure I am ready to go.
"Sebring has every type of corner and the surface is different in every corner, then you factor in some huge bumps and you have a hugely rewarding lap when you get it right. I have always enjoyed the track and it seems to suit my style, every lap is a challenge and its such a great feeling when you wrestle a car over the bumps and come up with the big lap time you were looking for."
Max Papis... "Sebring is the greatest test of both cars and people. To run 12 hours at Sebring is like running 36 hours at Daytona. The car has to be fast but durable, and the driver must be physically fit and ready to endure the most intense race of his or her life. Sebring is typically the first hot race of the year, so I start hydrating myself a week ahead of time to prepare.
"When the 12 hours of Sebring are over everyone is tired, beat-up and mentally drained, usually the winners are just slightly less drained than the rest of the competitors. However, if you leave Sebring and you aren’t tired and sore, you have not given it 100%.
"Sebring outside of the track being bumpy and rough its got everything a race track could possibly have, high speed straightaways, high-speed corners, low speed corners, hard braking and hard acceleration. Sebring demands every ounce of the drivers focus at all times.
"One of my fondest memories was grabbing pole position on the last lap of qualifying and taking it away from my hero, Formula 1 driver Michele Alboreto. What made it even more special was that he walked over, put his hand on my shoulder and told me they made a mistake letting me out of F1."
Media Contact: Kyle Zimmerman, Hi-Rev Racing
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