CORVETTE DPs AT COTA: Closing in on Another Engine Manufacturer Championship
Corvette Daytona Prototype teams, Chevrolet in good points positions heading to Austin
· Chevrolet holds 12-point lead in Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship
· Cameron, Curran on two-race win streak in No. 31 Corvette DP
· Eleven points separate top three Corvette DP driver pairings
DETROIT (Sept. 14, 2016) – Only two races – covering 12 hours and 40 minutes – stand between Chevrolet and another Engine Manufacturer Championship in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) competition. Chevrolet’s Corvette Daytona Prototype program and the rest of the IMSA Prototype category head to Austin, Texas and Circuit of the Americas this weekend for the penultimate round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Chevrolet sits in the proverbial driver’s seat of the Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship. The lead is 12 points with 70 remaining. Taking the points scale into consideration, Chevrolet will clinch the title at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans as long as one of the four Corvette DPs starts the final two races of the season.
The Corvette Daytona Prototype continues to establish itself as one of modern endurance racing’s most successful racecars. It has won 35 races in 55 events since the start of the 2012 season.
This year alone, Corvette DPs have swept the Prototype class podium at Long Beach, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America. It has won five of the last six IMSA races; with two more victories this year, the Corvette DP program would win eight races for the fourth time in five years.
Corvette Daytona Prototype drivers hold or share the top four positions in the category Driver’s Championship. Action Express Racing’s duo of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, who share the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, hold a narrow one-point lead. Two-time and defending Prototype Driver’s Champions, Fittipaldi and Barbosa won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and have six podium finishes. Their last seven races include the win at The Glen and four runner-up finishes.
Their Action Express Racing teammates – Eric Curran and Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP – are on a two-race win streak and are second in Driver’s points. They were winners at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America. The No. 31 Corvette DP also has six podium finishes including runner-up results at Sebring and Watkins Glen.
Wayne Taylor Racing’s pairing of Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor also are two-time winners this year in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. They won races at Long Beach and Belle Isle with a runner-up at Daytona and third-place finishes in the last two Prototype races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America. In addition to the Wayne Taylor Racing entry, Ricky Taylor will race a Chevrolet Corvette C7.R for Larbre Competition in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Marc Goossens, fourth in the Driver’s Championship, will team again with Ryan Dalziel in the Visit Florida Racing No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP. The duo has shown good pace with podium finishes in the Rolex 24 to start the season and also at Laguna Seca in May.
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.
The two-hour, 40-minute Lone Star Le Mans race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from Circuit of The Americas is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 17 It will air live on FOX Sports 2 starting at 12:30 p.m. ET with IMSA Radio coverage and Chevrolet on-board cameras available on IMSA.com.
JOAO BARBOSA, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP: “For sure – we’re the team to beat. We proved that in the last three or four races, and we obviously won the championships the past two years and we’re currently leading this one. Everybody wants to beat us to take the championship away. Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure in these last two races but we can deal with that. We have a great race car, great sponsors and a great team behind us. I’m pretty sure we can handle everything that is going to be thrown at us in the last two races.”
RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP: “It is always great racing in COTA. We only have two races to go and need to get back into the championship this weekend. Our car is always very competitive so we just need to execute this weekend to get our third win of the season. It is a very difficult situation but with a good race here in COTA anything can happen at Petit Le Mans considering there will be more cars in the field and more points available to be gained.”
DANE CAMERON, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP: “Austin is a really great city and it’s unique to be at an F1-caliber track like Circuit of The Americas. It’s fun driving a high-downforce car like our Whelen Corvette DP. It’s pretty fun, but it’s also really tricky because the surface is kind of low grip. There’s a really big mix of super high-speed sections, like getting through all the turns in the first section of the track and down through there, and a lot of relatively slower corners. It’s always tricky to get the balance perfect. We were quite competitive there last year until our race came unraveled a bit. So, I’m expecting to be competitive there again this year.”
RYAN DALZIEL, VISIT FLORIDA RACING NO. 90 VISITFLORIDA.COM CORVETTE DP: “We haven’t quite had the season we had anticipated at VISIT FLORIDA Racing but we’re still working hard. We’re going for race wins and we have two more opportunities to do get to Victory Lane. We just did a test with Chevrolet and continued to learn more about the car. We’re looking forward to getting there, Circuit of the Americas always puts on a good show for us.”
JIM LUTZ, CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PROGRAM MANAGER: “We are in very good shape in the Prototype points standings heading to Austin. While nothing is certain yet, it appears we are well on our way to clinching a fifth straight Engine Manufacturer title. However there is plenty at stake this weekend as the competition this year between our four Corvette DP partner teams has been as close as ever. It won’t be easy at Circuit of The Americas, which puts a premium on downforce and agility of the competing cars. Plus we have seen in years past that the weather can change drastically, and there is the potential of rain during the weekend. We certainly will give it our best shot and look forward to wrapping up another championship a couple of weeks from now at Road Atlanta.”