IMSA • October 03, 2013
Marsh Racing rolled into Lime Rock Park early last week with the #31 Whelen Engineering / Team Fox Corvette for the final race of the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series. The Championship Weekend also marked the last professional event for the GT-class Corvette C6.
On Friday, the #31 Corvette ran P3 in both practice sessions with an identical time due to a nearly perfect setup straight off of the trailer by the Marsh Racing boys. Lawson Aschenbach, filling in for Boris Said over the weekend, qualified the car early in the session with a 0:53.404, two tenths up from the nearest competitor. A black flag with five minutes remaining in the qualifier would solidify the pole position for the Corvette.
Lawson would start the race and hold the #31 in the lead for the majority of his stint, battling briefly for position with the #57 Camaro, before handing over the Whelen / Team Fox Corvette to Eric Curran for the duration of the two and three-quarter hour race. A perfect pit stop and driver change in and out of the pit box allowed Eric and the #31 to rejoin the field and retake the leading spot, eventually putting over thirty seconds between himself and P2 in the middle of the race.
"Today was just an incredible day. To have a win at our home track in the final Rolex race is just amazing. To do it in front of all the Whelen Engineering folks, Sonny Whelen, and the Marsh Racing family just tops it off. I was winning races eighteen years ago at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut and to continue to do so now just feels amazing. This Whelen Engineering / Team Fox Corvette was unbelievable all weekend long. The race really went flawlessly for us and it could not have gone more perfectly than it did."
"We brought in my Camaro team-mate Lawson Aschenbach, since Boris Said could not make it to the event due to travel issues in England. Lawson did an incredible job qualifying the #31 on the pole, leading the race, and giving me a great car just before the one-hour mark. Sonny Whelen was up on the hill today with all of the Whelen Engineering employees, Team Fox, and the Corvette club folks that came out to support us."
"Racing around Lime Rock Park is really tricky with the prototype class on track at the same time. We were running our own race even though there was a big championship battle going on behind us. The #63 Ferrari and the #73 Porsche both put pressure on me at one point, but those guys got tangled up with Prototypes and other GT traffic. There is not a lot of room here, the chicane is really tight, and the Daytona Prototypes run nose to tail in groupings, so you really have to pay attention to what is going on around you. The traffic seemed to work out more in my favor than my competitors. I suppose the few thousand laps around my home track didn’t hurt either."
"Within the next couple of weeks we will start testing our new Corvette Daytona Prototype. I want to get a lot of seat time in and get comfortable with the new car like I am in 007, which is the car that we ran today. It is going to be a big learning curve for us and there is a lot to take in. But I could not be more excited, as we are going to the Daytona 24-hour, Sebring 12-hour, and all of these big races next year at some of the best of the best tracks. I am really pumped but realize that we have a lot to learn. To end on such a high note here at Lime Rock Park, in my Corvette, with Sonny Whelen and Whelen Engineering present gives us some huge momentum going into the 2014 racing season."
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