TWO ON THE PODIUM AT TEXAS TRACK
DENVER, NC (Sept. 18, 2016) - The Action Express Racing team finished second and third in Saturday afternoon's (Sept. 17) IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.
Drivers Dane Cameron and Eric Curran recorded a second-place finish in the No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP and Action Express teammates Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi crossed the finish line third in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP in the two hour and 40 minute race. The No. 10 entry of Ricky and Jordan Taylor crossed the finish line first at the 3.41-mile, 20 turn permanent road course in Texas.
The runner-up result enabled Cameron and Curran to move ahead of their teammates Barbosa and Fittipaldi in the IMSA championship standings in the Prototype class - with one race remaining this year. Heading into the race in Texas, Cameron and Curran sat one point behind their teammates in the standings. After finishing ahead of Barbosa and Fittipaldi in Texas, Cameron and Curran now have the lead the standings by one point - with 285 points in the championship standings, a single point ahead of Barbosa and Fittipaldi.
The No. 31 (Cameron and Curran) and No. 5 (Barbosa and Fittipaldi) Action Express entries were never able to catch the No. 10 race car during the 75-lap race - although late in the race Cameron was able to close the gap on the race leader. However, Cameron was never able to get close enough to attempt a pass, and the No. 31 finished 1.421 seconds behind the race-winner.
Curran began the day behind the wheel of the No. 31 and started fourth on the grid.
"Our car was strong all day," said Curran. "It was a hot day and managing our tires was really important. I did a double stint at the beginning of the race. We had a drive thru penalty, but we were able to keep charging forward after the penalty. Overall, it was a good day for us and I think it's really important for us to take the points lead into the final race. We'll go to Petit Le Mans and fight it out for the title."
When Curran turned the car over to Cameron, the No. 31 had some ground to make up on the race track.
"There was a pretty good size gap to first when I got in the race car," said Cameron. "Eric (Curran) did a phenomenal job. It was a really long stint for him, just under two hours, and his 'cool suit' wasn't working. When I got in the race car, I just wanted to look after things. There was a gap of about 12 seconds, which was going to be really hard to make up under green conditions. We were rolling along and wanted to save something for the end if we got some yellows and I was able to get close to the No. 10. We were strong in traffic throughout the race, and I was able to get a couple looks in, but we just weren't good enough today."
For Cameron and Curran, the runner-up result was the seventh time in nine races that the co-drivers have finished among the top-three.
"We're happy to have the points lead in the championship standings - even if it's just one point," added Cameron. "It would have made a big difference in the standings if we could have got the win here in Texas, and I'm disappointed that we weren't able to do that."
It marks the fourth consecutive race in which both Action Express race cars have recorded top-three finishes - although it marks the first time in the four most recent IMSA races that the team has not visited Victory Lane. Before the event in Austin, in the most recent race on the schedule at Wisconsin's Road America (Aug. 7) - Cameron and Curran registered a first-place finish with Barbosa and Fittipaldi recording a runner-up result. In the race prior to that at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 10), the results were the same as at Road America. The finishing positions for the two Action Express entries were reversed in the race before the event in Canada, at New York's Watkins Glen International (July 3), where the No. 5 (Barbosa and Fittipaldi) crossed the finish line ahead of the No. 31 (Cameron and Curran).
"To head into the final race of the year with our teams first and second in the point standings - and separated by just a single point - is probably the best scenario we could have imagined at the beginning of the season," said Gary Nelson, team manager for Action Express Racing. "We will definitely have our work cut out for us at Petit Le Mans. We did win the race there last year with the No. 5, but that won't matter this year. It's a 10 hour race and anything can happen during a long endurance event. Everyone on our race team has worked extremely hard all year long. We just have to continue doing what we've been doing the last four races, and really throughout the whole year, and take care of business at Road Atlanta."