ACTION EXPRESS RACING LOOKING TO DOUBLE DOWN IN THE LONE STAR LE MANS AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
DENVER, N.C. (September 15, 2015) – Action Express Racing looks to go back-to-back with a Texas Two-Step as the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship heads to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for the series penultimate event.
The last time the two Action Express Racing Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototypes took to the track, it was Dane Cameron and Eric Curran leading the double thunder charge for the North Carolina based team. The duo edged teammates João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the second ever 1-2 finish for the team. While the finish was reason enough for enthusiasm, the result moved the two cars squarely back into the championship fight.
The win moved the Whelen Corvette DP of Cameron and Curran to third in the championship standings, trailing the lead by two points, while the second place finish put the Mustang Sampling Corvette DP of Barbosa and Fittipaldi within one marker of the series leading No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.com Corvette DP.
For Porto, Portugal’s João Barbosa, repeating as the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Champion will be much more difficult than it was last year.
While his co-driver expounded on the difficulty in repeating the championship accomplishment of one-year ago, São Paulo Brazil’s Christian Fittipaldi was focused on the first difficult task at hand, winning at COTA.
“The weather will be hot,” said Fittipaldi. “We know it’s going to be one of our warmer races of the season, but that’s the same for everyone so we’ll just have to do the best with the circumstances. It’ll be hard on all the guys and on the equipment. João and me have been fortunate to complete 12,422 consecutive miles of competition and hopefully we will be able to continue that in Austin.
“To win I feel that I have to believe in myself that we are the team to beat. The competition is going to be tough. Anyone who wins is going to have to have some luck on their side and the stars have to align a little bit. I believe in my team, so we’ll give it our best at Circuit of the Americas and at Road Atlanta to end the season.”
Widely viewed as an up-and-coming driver, Dane Cameron has grown increasingly comfortable in his new surroundings at Action Express Racing. The American-Kiwi has helped wheel the red and white Whelen Corvette DP to Victory Lane twice this season enroute to becoming the winningest driver in the TUDOR Championship era (seven class wins).
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Circuit of the Americas,” said Cameron. “It’s going to be a lot of fun in a high downforce Corvette DP with the track being designed for Formula 1 cars. There is a huge range of corners and straightaways, so being technically accurate will be critical.
“Eric and I will really look to use COTA as a place where we can move up one spot or maybe jump to the lead in the championship standings. It’s the last sprint race of the season so you’ve got to execute perfectly. We’ve had strong runs lately with our Whelen Corvette DP, obviously the win at Road America in our last race, but we were extremely strong at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as well.”
New England native Eric Curran is no stranger to sports car racing. With nearly two decades of experience, Curran has scored plenty of victories enroute to his first two prototype triumphs in 2015, but there is something that makes this season different than the rest.
“This season has been unbelievably special to me,” said Curran. “I started racing twenty years ago at Lime Rock Park in the SCCA cars and finally seeing all of that hard work pay off in getting to showcase what I can do in a championship caliber Corvette Daytona Prototype.
“Obviously a big piece of the puzzle for me personally has been Sonny Whelen and Whelen Engineering. Being able to stand on the top step of the podium and hand Sonny a Paul Reed Smith guitar is the ultimate feeling of satisfaction. Sonny loves music and racing and he’s done so much for the racing world that it’s awesome to be able to celebrate those wins with him.”
With two cars vying for the championship, team manager Gary Nelson remains focused on his ‘Expect to Win’ philosophy.
“All season we’ve worked as one-team with two-cars,” said Nelson. “That won’t change over the final two events of the season. We’ll prepare for both and compete at both with the expectation to win.
“We’re in a terrific position to have four drivers and two cars competing for four championships. João and Christian were able to win all the championships available last season, and this year they’re in a great position to repeat. We’ve also got Dane and Eric with the Whelen Corvette DP in a position to win the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and that’s a terrific accomplishment for their first year with Action Express Racing. Both of those guys have brought a lot to the table and have helped our team to improve all season.”
When asked about team orders as the TUDOR Championship hits the home stretch, team manager Gary Nelson smiled and added: “Don’t wreck your teammates.”
The two entries from Action Express Racing have claimed three victories in the first eight races of the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. With two cars fighting for the series championship and the Mustang Sampling Corvette DP in prime position to claim it’s second Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup the team from North Carolina will continue to operate as they have all season, expecting to win.