IMSA • February 10, 2014
Marsh racing completed the Rolex Daytona 24 Hour!!! To many that might seem like a small statement, but for the team running their first DP car, in their First 24 Hour race, in the First Tudor United Sports Car Championship race, that’s a huge statement. Over 600 Laps, 14 sets of tires, 464 gallons of fuel, and 10 driver changes later, the team can sit back knowing they’ve accomplished what many have tried, and only a small percentage have completed. With under 2 hours left in the race the team moved in front of the 01 for 10th position. With out to much threat the team was able to hold on to their top 10 result.
"Marsh Racings first full 24 hour race was this one. And with a new car and lots of changes it wasn’t easy. But all the Marsh racing guys did a great job prepping the car with little prototype experience they pulled it off." - Eric Curran
Its hard to believe just a few months ago, Marsh Racing was running some of their first test sessions with the new DP car. Unfortunately, those tests were filled with more uphill battles than fast laps. Lap after lap the boys worked hard to improve their Corvette Daytona Prototype, not only for speed, but reliability. Reliability has been the goal since day one for the team; build a car that can last the famed 24 hour race. And they did it.
"It was a great weekend for me to share the car with Eric, Boris and Young Bradley, I think it was a great experience, and a great achievement for a team to have never run the Daytona Prototype car in the Daytona 24 hour and finishing in the top 10 is a good satisfaction. Obviously we hoped for more, and with out those two major issues we had we could have had a top 5." - Max Papis
There is more to endurance racing, than just speed, to win a marathon you need to work well as a team, and how you overcome obstacles is what puts you on the podium. The boys at Marsh Racing were certainly confronted with obstacles through out the night.
After some quick welding on two occasions; the first being the front nose supports, and the second, a few hours later when the manifold came lose from the engine, the boys were able to get the #31 Whelen Corvette back on track only losing around 45 minutes for each issue.
"We had a few small issues with the exhaust, the throttle cable and the front body work mounts but that’s pretty minimal considering what the car goes through for 24 hours at daytona." - Eric Curran
In the last few hours of the race the engine started to show a few signs of fatigue due to the manifold issue. The ECR engine, despite the challenges, ran strong through out the entire event, and held together to give newcomer Bradlely Smith the chance to take it across the the finish line just after 2:15 on Sunday afternoon.
"The Rolex 24 is one of the biggest races in the world and to finish it was amazing! Racing at 3am overtaking GT car after car in the Whelen DP is something ill never forget! Eric, Boris and Max all made sure I was prepared and very helpful throughout the race, It was a great team effort which is what endurance racing is all about. This has been a great opportunity given to me from Sunoco, IMSA and Whelen and I would love to come back again for more." - Bradley Smith
With only a few weeks until a scheduled practice at Sebring, the team will be hard at work rebuilding the entire car from top to bottom. The 12 hours of Sebring is one of the countries greatest races, and everyone is looking forward to having it on the season this year. One more great opportunity to show the world the hard work, dedication and professionalism from the Marsh Racing / Whelen Motorsports team.
"Im really looking forward to the 2014 IMSA season in our Whelen Corvette! All of us on the team know that we are up against some serious teams that have years of experience but we will keep charging forward and get more and more competitive throughout the season." - Eric Curran
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