CORVETTE DPs AT DAYTONA: Looking to Climb the High Banks and Rolex Podium

CORVETTE DPs AT DAYTONA: Looking to Climb the High Banks and Rolex Podium
Four Corvette Daytona Prototypes being Prototype Championship defense

· Five podium positions in last two years at Rolex 24 for Corvette DPs
· Corvette Daytona Prototype swept overall podium in 2014 including victory for Action Express Racing
· Thirty victories for Corvette DP program since launch in 2012
· More than 40 official victories at Daytona for Chevrolet across all series

DETROIT (Jan. 26, 2016) – The biggest race for Chevrolet’s Corvette Daytona Prototype program also happens to be the first one of the season. Teams in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) open their year with the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway, which has been a hotbed of success for the Corvette DP and Chevrolet as a whole.

Four Corvette Daytona Prototypes are entered for the 54th annual endurance classic, which marks the beginning of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Chevrolet arrives at Daytona as a four-time Prototype Engine Manufacturer champion – a perfect title record since Chevrolet added the iconic nameplate to the Prototype class in 2012.

“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the biggest race of our season. We’ve seen over the years how difficult it is to win such a prestigious race,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Program Manager for the Corvette DP. “It takes an all-out effort by the drivers, crew and engineers to have a chance at victory. Fortunately our Corvette Daytona Prototype teams have all three. We have been fortunate to win the Rolex 24 before and had two podium finishes last year. There would be no better way to start the 2016 season than with a victory and strong showing for our Corvette DPs. It would be another significant milestone in Chevrolet’s success at Daytona.”

Indeed. The Bowtie Brand has more than 40 victories to its credit at Daytona in the top levels of sports car and stock car racing. That makes Chevrolet the most successful manufacturer in the venue’s history.

The Corvette DP also has forged a remarkable history since its debut – first in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the last two years in IMSA competition. Corvette DPs have won 30 times in 46 races for a 65.2 winning percentage.

Chevrolet last won the Rolex 24 in 2014 as the Corvette DP swept the overall podium. Action Express Racing won the event for the first time with current drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. Not only are they past Rolex 24 winners, but the pairing has shared the last two Prototype Driver’s title. They will drive this week with five-time Rolex 24 winner Scott Pruett and Filipe Albuquerque.

Action Express Racing will have two Corvette DPs in the Prototype category at Daytona. Full-season teammates Dane Cameron and Eric Curran will drive the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette Daytona Prototype along with Simon Pagenaud and Jonny Adam. Cameron and Curran won twice in 2015 and finished third in Driver points.

Wayne Taylor Racing sees the same driving trio for the third consecutive year at the Rolex 24. Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli will drive the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP – two years after they were runners-up at the Rolex 24 with team owner Wayne Taylor. The Taylor brothers also were two-time winners in 2015.

Likewise, Visit Florida Racing recorded two victories last season and is back with its No. 90 Corvette Daytona Prototype. Following a second-place finish in Prototype team points in 2015, Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens will team for the full season in the Visit Florida entry; Ryan Hunter-Reay will partner them at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

The Corvette DP bodywork reflects the Corvette C7 production lineup. At the heart of the Corvette Daytona Prototype is a purpose-built 5.5-liter Chevrolet LS9 V-8 engine developed by ECR Engines.

JOAO BARBOSA, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP: “I’m looking forward to going back to Daytona for another Rolex 24. Action Express Racing has been working very hard, and I think we have a very strong Corvette DP for a 24-hour race. We have been very strong in long-distance races. We have some pressure to win this year – something we’d really like to do. We have a great shot. We’ve done our homework and we’re very well-prepared for this first race of the year. It would be great to start off on the right foot. Let’s see if we can land another win for Action Express.”

RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP: “The Daytona Prototype means a lot to our whole family. Firstly, it is the car that Jordan and I made our names driving in sports car racing. It was also the platform on which our family has made a living over the last 12 years, and the platform for my dad to be able to form his own racing team, which has been one of the highlights of his career. Apart from those highlights, the Corvette DP is just a great car to drive. It is very raw and has to be driven hard. The quality of the racing over the years was some of the most exciting racing over the years and definitely the most exciting racing I had ever been involved with.”

DANE CAMERON, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP: “After the Roar I felt like our Whelen Chevrolet Corvette DP was in a great place. The race weekend goes so fast, and when you’re splitting seat time with four guys it becomes even more compressed. Fortunately we were all able to log a lot of miles during the Roar weekend. The communication has been great, and I think our driver lineup is one of the best in the field. All of the guys on the Whelen crew work hard and I know they’re going to give 100 percent for the full 24 hours.”

MARC GOOSSENS, VISIT FLORIDA RACING NO. 90 CORVETTE DP: “On paper we have a realistic chance at a win in the Rolex 24, but I’m not the guy that comes in for one race. I’m here for the season. I look at the bigger picture and obviously it would be nice to win Daytona but we’re here for a championship and not only that but we’re here to build for the future and see what 2017 brings. Rules are changing. We’re here and we’re hoping to win but at the same time we’re focused on the full season and looking in the future beyond that.”