CORVETTE DPs AT ROAD ATLANTA: Looking to Wrap Up Championship Weekend with a Bowtie
Team Chevy, drivers and teams are in control of Prototype title races
· Chevrolet needs one Corvette DP to start 10-hour enduro to claim Prototype Engine Manufacturer’s title
· Cameron, Curran lead Driver’s Championship by one point over Action Express teammates
· Action Express Racing, Wayne Taylor Racing previous Prototype winners of Petit Le Mans
· Final race for Corvette Daytona Prototypes
DETROIT (Sept. 27, 2016) – Chevrolet and its Corvette Daytona Prototype teams end the chase for Prototype titles in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend at Road Atlanta. The 18th annual Petit Le Mans presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort sees an incredibly close fight for the Prototype Driver’s and Team championships, while Chevrolet is on the doorstep of a fifth straight Engine Manufacturer’s Championship in the class.
The Bowtie Brand has accumulated enough points to secure another title as long as one of the four Corvette Daytona Prototypes takes the green flag for the 10-hour endurance classic. The Corvette DP has won the Prototype class at Petit Le Mans the last two years – Wayne Taylor Racing in 2014 and Action Express Racing last season.
Those are two of the Corvette DP program’s 36 victories since its debut in 2012. Petit Le Mans will mark the final event for the venerable and highly successful race car with new Prototype regulations taking effect for the 2017 season.
Corvette Daytona Prototypes have won more than 65 percent of its races. It also has recorded 99 podium finishes with 28 pole positions and 23 fastest race laps. All four Corvette DPs tested at Road Atlanta for two days in August to prepare for Petit Le Mans.
Even after the Engine Manufacturer title is wrapped up, there is still the matter of the Prototype Driver’s and Team championship. Three Corvette DP driver pairings are within seven points headed by Action Express Racing’s Dane Cameron and Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP.
The duo has been on a roll since a runner-up finish at Watkins Glen in late June. Starting at The Glen, the Cameron/Curran pairing has won two races and finished second twice to take a one-point lead over two-time and defending Prototype champions Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. This weekend, Cameron and Curran will drive with newly crowned Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud.
Teammates in Action Express’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, Barbosa and Fittipaldi – who will drive at Road Atlanta with Felipe Albuquerque – won the Prototype class at last year’s rain-soaked Petit Le Mans. They were winners at Watkins Glen to take the lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup – a four-race championship made up of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen and Petit Le Mans. Points are awarded at the four- and eight-hour marks of Saturday’s race as well as the checkered flag.
Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan and Ricky Taylor arrive at Road Atlanta off a victory two weeks ago at Circuit of The Americas in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP to solidify their third-place standing in the Driver’s Championship. Their three victories rank first among all Prototype drivers this year, and they won Petit Le Mans in 2014 with Max Angelelli, who rejoins the team at Road Atlanta. The Taylors are seven points back of Cameron and Curran.
The Visit Florida Racing No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP stands fourth in the Prototype Team standings with Marc Goossens also fourth in Driver’s points. He and full-season teammate Ryan Dalziel will team with IndyCar star Ryan Hunter-Reay as the trio look to match or better their Rolex 24 podium result to start the season.
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 10-hour Petit Le Mans presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort from Road Atlanta is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 1 It will air live on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports Go and IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio coverage and Chevrolet on-board cameras available on IMSA.com.
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP: “I have no words to describe it, because it’s one thing to win three championships – or even four – but it’s something different when you manage to win three in a row. We want to win it badly, and we’re going to do our very best. It’s very close, only one-point difference – it’s wide open. We’re racing our teammates, but at the end of the year, they’re our competitors also. I want to win it, but if the No. 5 is not on the top step, for sure I want the No. 31 to win.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP: “We can definitely carry the momentum from COTA into this weekend and back it up with a win. We have always had a strong car at Road Atlanta. We won there in 2014 and had a strong race going last year until the red flag. We have been even stronger on the track and in the pits this year than last, so I think it bodes well for us. The added race length works in our favor. All we can focus on is our own race though, and going out there and trying to win. Our only focus at COTA was to try and win the race; we were not worried about points. We are going in with that same mentality.”
DANE CAMERON, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP: “We’re obviously in a good position – leading the championship heading into the last race of the season. Certainly it’s nowhere near being a done deal. Petit Le Mans is a tough event, and Road Atlanta is a challenging race track. Traffic is really difficult, especially on the front half of the lap. It looks like we will have a lot better weather than last year, which is great for everyone. That means it should be a pretty exciting event. I really don’t think you’ll know who will win this weekend until the final lap at the end of 10 hours. We’re in a good position and have had some great results over the last four races, so we have a lot of good momentum and confidence on the Whelen Engineering Corvette DP.”
RYAN DALZIEL, VISIT FLORIDA RACING NO. 90 VISITFLORIDA.COM CORVETTE DP: “I’m really looking forward to Petit Le Mans. Although it’s been a tough season for Visit Florida Racing and the Austin race was particularly disappointing, we will be doing our best to finish the season off on a high note. We have Ryan Hunter-Reay joining us again so our lineup is as strong as anyone’s. We had a great test at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago so hopefully what we learned then will transfer over to our pace for this week.”
JIM LUTZ, CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PROGRAM MANAGER: “This has been another great season for the Corvette Daytona Prototypes. We are one green flag away from another Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship, and it couldn’t come at a better event that Petit Le Mans. All four of our Corvette DP teams tested at Road Atlanta in late August so they are very well-prepared for the challenges that this race presents – a high amount of traffic, fast speeds and potentially changing weather conditions. It’s an exciting way to end this year’s Prototype season and the Corvette Daytona Prototype era. We intend to go out on top.”