IMSA • December 05, 2016
Red and White Whelen livery coming soon...
Action Express Racing announced today that the team will field a pair of Cadillac DPi-V.R race cars in the Prototype class of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starting with the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 28-29, 2017.
The team will return to the top-level of IMSA competition in the Prototype class fielding two Daytona Prototype international (DPi) entries with Cadillac. ECR, which has worked together with Action Express for the past five years, will again provide engines to the organization.
"We're excited about our relationship as a Cadillac partner team and utilizing the Cadillac DPi-V.R in competition during the upcoming season," said Action Express team manager Gary Nelson. "We're also looking forward to working together with our new chassis partner Dallara, as well as continuing our relationship with ECR engines. Obviously, there's plenty of work for us to do to prepare for the start of the 2017 season and we've been extremely busy getting familiar with our new race cars."
The team's championship-winning 2016 driver lineup - featuring Joao Barbosa, Dane Cameron, Eric Curran and Christian Fittipaldi - will return to the team for the upcoming campaign. In addition, the team will continue its relationship with partners Whelen Engineering and Mustang Sampling.
"We're delighted to continue our partnership with Mustang Sampling and Whelen Engineering/Team Fox," said Action Express team Principal Bob Johnson. "In 2015, both Mustang Sampling and Whelen joined Action Express as partners with the team. Together we've accomplished much over the past two years and we look forward to continuing that success in the future as a Cadillac partner team and with our returning championship-winning drivers."
In 2017, Cameron and Curran will share time behind the steering wheel of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Cadillac DPi-V.R, and Barbosa and Fittipaldi will be the drivers of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R.
"In the past, we've had a lot of success with our simple strategy of not changing things unless absolutely necessary," Nelson explained. "With IMSA's introduction of the new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) in the Prototype class, it was necessary for us to make changes for the upcoming season. While we have a lot to learn, we're also looking forward to the challenge of developing a reliable and competitive new race car."
In 2016, co-drivers Cameron and Curran earned the WeatherTech Series driver's championship in the Prototype class in the No. 31 entry.
It marked the third consecutive driver's championship for Action Express in the IMSA Prototype class. In addition to winning the 2016 driver's championship with Cameron and Curran.
En route to the 2016 driver's title, Cameron and Curran had a pair of wins during the season - finishing first at Wisconsin's Road America (Aug. 7) and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 10). Along with the two wins, the duo recorded runner-up results at Circuit of the Americas in Texas (Sept. 18), New York's Watkins Glen International (July 3) and Florida's Sebring International Raceway (March 19).
"We wanted to get to the race track and start testing our Cadillac DPi-V.R as soon as we could, and we already have a couple of tests under our belt," said Nelson. "Our early testing is showing some great results. We've learned a lot about a high down force race car - a car that instantly grabs the track. Our drivers are learning about the new car and whether they have to make any adjustments to their driving style to accommodate the new race car. In addition, our engineering staff is also learning about the new car and how to best tune the car."
The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will feature 10 races, including endurance races.
JAN 06 - JAN 08 - THE ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX 24 Daytona Beach, FL
JAN 26 - JAN 29 - ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA Daytona Beach, FL
MAR 15 - MAR 18 - MOBIL 1 TWELVE HOURS OF SEBRING Sebring, FL
APR 07 - APR 08 - BUBBA BURGER SPORTS CAR GRAND PRIX AT LONG BEACH Long Beach, CA
MAY04 - MAY06-LONESTARLEMANS Austin, TX
JUN 02 - JUN 03 - CHEVROLET SPORTS CAR CLASSIC PRESENTED BY METRO DETROIT CHEVY DEALERS. Detroit, MI
JUN 29 - JUL 02 - SAHLEN'S SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN Watkins Glen, NY
JUL 07 - JUL 09 - CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK Clarington, ON
AUG 03 - AUG 06 - CONTINENTAL TIRE ROAD RACE SHOWCASE Elkhart Lake, WI
AUG 25 - AUG 27 - MICHELIN GT CHALLENGE AT VIR Alton, VA
SEP 22 - SEP 24 - CONTINENTAL TIRE MONTEREY GRAND PRIX POWERED BY MAZDA Salinas, CA
OCT04 - OCT07-PETITLEMANS Braselton, GA
Copyright Whelen Engineering Co, Inc 2017