Whelen Motorsports

Roars into Daytona

IMSA • January 13, 2014

Marsh Racing escaped the snow and frigid air of the Northeast winter storm Hercules, for the warmth of Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Florida. The 3.56 mile track played host to the Tudor United Sports Car Championships first official practice, known as the Roar before the 24.

Returning to Marsh Racing for their 4th season together, Eric Curran and Boris Said will fight for the Prototype championship in the inaugural season of the TUSCC. The championship will open with the grueling 24-hour race known as the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The green flag will drop at 2:30pm on Saturday January 25th live on Fox Sports 1.
Joining Curran and Said for the 24 will be Max Papis and Bradley Smith.

Max Papis:
No stranger to the Rolex 24, the 2 time 24 hour winner is a welcome addition to help the team go for a win it’s inaugural race. The former CART, Formula 1, NASCAR and most importantly, 2010 Grand Am Prototype Champion will bring years of experience to help guide the team through the action packed marathon.

"I’m really excited about the opportunity, I was very impressed from every one here at the Whelen Team, our Corvette has been progressing really well. I Feel that it’s going to be a blast, with people like Eric, Boris and the new coming Bradley as well, were going to have a strong line up. Our plan will definitely be with consistency and i think we could be the underdog and really surprise a lot of people..." - Max Papis

"Preparation is now in the hands of the team, and this is going to be the most important part for the 24 hour, this next couple of weeks of very hard work... It will be a dream to finish on the podium but we’ are going to take a top 5 for sure." - Max Papis

Bradley Smith:
The 22 year old haling from England, found himself in Daytona through hard work and determination. Racing to a win in the Sunoco Fuels Championship, he earned himself a seat in the Rolex 24. Everyone at Marsh Racing is excited to have this up and coming young gun from across the pond in their Corvette Prototype.

"It’s fantastic to be here in Daytona considering it is only my third year in car racing. It has been good for me to get some experience here in order to get used to the car itself as well as the circuit ... in these cars you need a little bit more patience when slowing down the car and then there is a big difference in the top speed these cars have. Then there is, of course, the driving at night which takes a few laps to get used to. The actual lighting around the circuit is pretty good, but it takes a while to judge the cars from behind. After a few laps though you settle down, get comfortable and concentrate on what’s in front. Being here for the Roar Before the 24 is fantastic because you get a chance to see how the car is handling and you also get to experience the traffic. Additionally the drivers get to know what to expect on track for the race. The atmosphere here is great and it is wonderful to see all the fans that are here and see how much they are enjoying themselves." - Bradley Smith

With a successful weekend under their belts, it’s now up to crew to continue their hard work in making the upgrade to the prototype class. It’s no secret the 24 hour race takes more than just speed, it will be a race won by reliability and hard work.

"It’s quite a change moving into the Whelen Corvette Prototype from the Corvette GT car. The GT was based off of the street corvette with a stock chassis. The Prototype Corvette is a custom built mid engine, Carbon bodied, 600HP rocket capable of 200mph!" - Eric Curran

"Overall we had a good three day test this past weekend. Our Whelen Corvette Prototype ran strong each day and we learned a lot. We are a little behind being that the rest of the Prototype teams have been here for years and this is our first season.

The marsh racing guys are working really hard to get us up to speed. And to be honest, Im pretty happy that we are running in the top 8 already." - Curran

"The Whelen Prototype is a blast to drive! Especially with the carbon brakes, additional power and the added downforce. The cars are really fast in the new configuration.
Its exciting to be running the IMSA Tudor series with a couple of close buddies, Boris and Max. And now the addition of Bradley Smith, a young fast guy that won the Sunoco challenge in England. With such a strong experienced line up of drivers we should have a good should of racing to the end
of the 24hr." - Curran

"I couldn’t be happier running the top prototype class of the new IMSA Tudor series. Thanks again to Sonny Whelen, Whelen Engineering and all the Marsh racing boys for making it all happen. Im really looking for to the 2014 Season.

Its like a dream come true moving into the top level of Pro Road Racing in the US. Quite a change from racing a SCCA touring Volvo 20 years ago." - Curran