ACTION EXPRESS RACING SCORES THEIR SECOND VICTORY OF THE SEASON IN THE CHEVROLET SPORTS CAR CLASSIC
DETROIT, Mich. (May 30, 2015) – Long synonymous with American Motorsports, Whelen Engineering has returned to Victory Lane, this time in the premier sports car racing division in the Western Hemisphere in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on Detroit’s Belle Isle.
After starting fifth, Eric Curran immediately grabbed fourth place on the start, he then set his sights on defending race winner Ricky Taylor ultimately taking the third position before the first caution of the event.
“The car was unbelievably fast,” said Curran. “We had been fast all weekend, but whatever the guys did to our Whelen Corvette last night was just what the doctor ordered. It took me a while to get past Ricky, but I knew once we got there Dane would be in a position to challenge for the win after the stop.”
Challenge for the win may have been an understatement. Cameron lost one position on the pit stop as the car stalled leaving the box, but told the team over the radio that he would get it back. Cameron wasted no time in reclaiming the lost position and making his way to the front over the next fifteen minutes of racing.
“I was pretty mad when I stalled the car,” said Cameron. “The guys on the Whelen/Team Fox crew had a lighting fast pit stop and we probably should have leap frogged at least one position so I certainly owed it to them to get it back.
“The Whelen Corvette was amazing today and that’s a testament to everyone at Action Express Racing, not just on the Whelen Corvette, but the guys who prepare the Mustang Sampling Corvette as well. We have two cars that compete very hard for wins against each other, but at the end of the day we are one team and that’s where our true strength is found.”
While the win for the No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP may have been the story at the end of the day, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP started on point with Christian Fittipaldi and led the race until after the first pit stop.
“We had an amazing car today,” said Christian Fittipaldi who started on the pole and led the race until the first pit stop. “We were able to set the track record this weekend and we made a return to the level of performance we knew we were capable of. Congratulations to our teammates in the Whelen Corvette, for anyone who had doubts of what they were capable of, I think all of those were put to rest today.”
For Fittipaldi’s co-driver João Barbosa third place wasn’t what he had in mind, but the finish placed the duo back on the podium for the first time since their win in the Twelve Hours of Sebring and put them back in a tie for first place in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“Obviously when your car leads the first half of the race you want to bring home the victory,” said Barbosa. “We had great speed in our Mustang Sampling Corvette DP and it handled really well over the bumps and tight turns on the Belle Isle street-course.
“You always want to win but if another car is going to win the race it’s nice to have it be your teammates. Dane and Eric are both very talented drivers and the Whelen crew is a great group of guys. It’s a great situation to have your toughest competition as teammates. Congratulations to both of them on their first Prototype victory, and we’re going to enjoy competing with them for the championship this year.”
The win in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic marked the second time that Action Express Racing has claimed victory at the Detroit Grand Prix, the first coming in an Action Express Racing one-two finish in 2012, a feat that was nearly accomplished today.
Team owner Bob Johnson had high praise for his team after posting the first double podium of the year.
“When we started the season our focus was to bring two winning race cars to the track each week,” said Johnson. “Today our guys did just that. Christian dominated the first half of the race and Dane was able to bring home the victory at the end. Seeing both cars demonstrate the speed and performance that we expect shows that we’ve accomplished one of the goals that we set out to achieve at the beginning of the season.
“We were able to take Ken Thompson and Mustang Sampling to Victory Lane at Sebring and today, Sonny Whelen was able to see his Whelen Corvette DP in Victory Lane and take a major step forward in the championship battle. I’m so incredibly proud of each and every person who works for Action Express Racing and we have four of the best drivers in the series in our cars each week.”
The win by the Whelen Corvette DP marked the fifth different winner in the first five races of the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The victory also moved Curran and Cameron unofficially to third in the championship standings, while the Mustang Sampling Corvette is now unofficially tied with the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.COM Corvette DP.
The win by Action Express Racing kept the undefeated streak for Chevrolet intact for another year and has once again shown that the TUDOR Championship might run through the Denver, NC based team, this time with two cars competing for the series top honors.