IMSA • March 20, 2017
SEBRING, FL (March 19, 2017) - The defending IMSA WeatherTech Champs have to wonder when will the bad luck end? Fortunately, the Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R was once again fast and leading until bad luck changed their race, but not their determination!
Dane Cameron qualified 3rd and took the lead just thirty-four minutes into the 12-hour classic after passing the No. 13 Rebellion car, following a pass-thru pit penalty. The Whelen Engineering Cadillac continued to the lead through the first two hours of the event following pit stops and driver change to Eric Curran. At the 2:25 mark, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R had contact with the No. 22 ESM Prototype. Eric was at the wheel when he exited Turn 17 and tucked underneath the No. 22 to pass on the inside when the No. 22 driver turned to go onto pit lane. Curran hit the No. 22 and was stalled in the middle of the track. Unfortunately, he had to be towed to the paddock, but the team quickly re-fired the Cadillac DPi-V.R 6.2L engine and he rejoined the race. The team then received a stop-and-go-penalty for working on the car in pit lane while the pits were closed. The incident combined with penalty dropped the No.31 Whelen Cadillac to 6th place, 3 laps down.
The Whelen Engineering Team would continue to fight for positions and points. At the 5:30 mark, Mike Conway would pit for tires, fuel and driver change to Dane Cameron for his second driving stint. By the 7:00 mark, Dane would give the drive back to Eric Curran for his second driving stint, only 2 laps down. At the 8:20 mark, Eric would run down and pass the No. 85 prototype for third place!
After getting as close as one lap down, the Whelen Engineering Team's never give up attitude and third place finish allowed for a 1-2-3 Cadillac podium sweep.
Eric Curran, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:
"It is nice to get Cadillac a 1-2-3 here at Sebring," Curran said. "Obviously the Cadillac has shown good pace and great reliability early in the season. I got tangled up with the 22 car at the beginning and unfortunately lost a bunch of laps. We fought back and got within a couple of laps at the end and to get on the podium. Our luck is going to get better on the Whelen side. We are looking to be really strong at Long Beach."
Dane Cameron, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:
"Certainly good to recover from laps down at the beginning," Cameron said. "It is nice to celebrate on the podium after a tough Daytona and get some points. We will head to Long Beach and see what happens."
Mike Conway, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:
"We fought back, regained some laps, but not enough in the end. A great job by the Whelen Engineering team and Cadillac today. I will rejoin the team in October at Petit Le Mans. I wish the guys all the luck."
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship next heads west to the streets of Long Beach for the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach April 7-8.
IMSA Weather Tech Championship: 6th (25 points)
Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship: 4th (10 points)
Copyright Whelen Engineering Co, Inc 2014