IMSA • March 23, 2015
SEBRING, Fla. (March 22, 2015) - The Whelen/Team Fox Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype from Action Express Racing battled through mid race adversity to deliver a second top-5 finish in the second race of the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
The No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette started the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from the fifth position, and ascending to the second position to challenge their teammates in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette for the lead before suffering a loose wheel that would ultimately trap them two laps down.
The team was able to repair the minor damage and get the car back on the track and the trio of drivers, Curran, Cameron and Papis, were able bring the car home in the fifth position at the end of twelve hours.
"Our car had tremendous speed all day," said driver Eric Curran. "We had one unfortunate circumstance that took us out of a shot for the win and we really had to fight hard the rest of the day.
"The good news is that we’ve had great speed in both races this year and when we get a day where everything goes right for our group, we’re going to be on the top-step of the podium."
Veteran driver Max Papis sees the potential in the full season pairing of Curran and Cameron, and he gave the two high-praise at the end of twelve hours.
"Eric and Dane have more heart than most drivers I’ve known," said Max Papis. "When their back is to the wall they come out swinging and it’s an honor to drive with them. This group on the No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette is going to win a race very soon because they are extremely competitive and they never give up."
Despite the early race mishap, the Whelen/Team Fox Corvette continued turning lap times equal to that of their teammates in the winning Mustang Sampling Corvette, something that gives driver Dane Cameron optimism despite the unfortunate circumstances that they’ve faced thus far in 2015.
"The guys on this Whelen Corvette did a great job all weekend," said Cameron. "We made consistent gains from the time we unloaded until qualifying, we started fifth, worked up to second and then just had some bad luck. It’s encouraging to know we’re just as fast as the defending champions and we know we’ve got the equipment to get the job done.
"We’ll move on to Long Beach with even more confidence than we had coming into this weekend and hopefully get our first win of the season."
Team manager Gary Nelson spoke after the race about the progress Action Express Racing has made moving to two full time cars in 2015.
"We had a big task in front of us at the end of the 2014 season," said Nelson. "We had the essential pieces, but we had to add some personnel and equipment to move to two full time cars for this season.
"Both of our cars were extremely fast today and I’m proud of all the hard work that everyone put in following Daytona to get ready for Sebring. We had two cars in the top-5 today at the end of twelve hours and that’s a big accomplishment. We’ll go back and analyze everything from the weekend and find ways to get stronger as a team before Long Beach."
The No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette is unofficially third in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship standings, and sixth in the Tequila PatrÃ³n North American Endurance Cup.
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