CORVETTE DPs AT ROAD ATLANTA: Cameron, Curran Claim Prototype Driver’s Title
Wayne Taylor Racing places third at Petit Le Mans in final race for Corvette DP
BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 1, 2016) – Action Express Racing’s Dane Cameron and Eric Curran claimed a closely fought Prototype Driver’s Championship on Saturday, and Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype placed third in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort to close the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Cameron and Curran, drivers of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP, won their first title together in their second season as teammates. They won twice this year and recorded four podium finishes in five races to close the season.
“Congratulations to Dane Cameron and Eric Curran on winning their first Prototype Driver’s Championship today at Road Atlanta,” said Mark Kent, Chevrolet Director of Motorsports Competition. “Their performance and that of the No. 31 Action Express Racing Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP at Petit Le Mans and throughout the season makes them worthy champions. We congratulate and thank them, and all our Corvette DP teams on a successful season.”
Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli finished on the podium in the final race for the Corvette Daytona Prototype with new Prototype class regulations coming into effect in 2017. Since its beginnings in 2012, the Corvette DP won 36 times and recorded 100 podium finishes in 56 races.
Corvette Daytona Prototype drivers captured the top three positions in the unofficial Driver’s Championship standings. Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi were second in points after winning the last two Driver’s titles in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. They also captured the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup Prototype Driver’s Championship.
The Taylors placed third in the Driver’s Championship with a season-high three victories.
ERIC CURRAN, ACTION XPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – PROTOTYPE DRIVER’S CHAMPION: “It is unbelievable. I think it is going to take some time to sink in. But it’s such a great opportunity for Dane Cameron and I to drive this Whelen Corvette DP for Action Express. All the guys at Action Express have worked so hard for this. We came so close last year and we felt like it was out championship to lose this year. It wasn’t a perfect season, but it all came together. The Chevy Corvette was unbelievable. Dane is unbelievable as a co-driver. We brought in Simon Pagenaud for this race and he has had an unbelievable year – now two championships. Sonny Whelen and Whelen Engineering support is phenomenal. Nine years driving for them… I just want to thank everyone that supports this program. It all pays off, look at us now.”
DANE CAMERON, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – PROTOTYPE DRIVER’S CHAMPION: “We had a rough start at Daytona, had a couple of strong races and a bunch of podiums. It took us awhile to get (the first) win. We had a big setback in Detroit that really set us back a lot of points. From there it really felt like we were trying to claw our way back. The point spread makes it difficult to make a big swing. It felt like we were just digging, digging, digging trying to get out of this hole. We finally got out of this hole at COTA. It wasn’t by much, but we knew it was something. Coming to a 10-hour race is so nerve-wracking. Traffic is so difficult at Petit Le Mans. But we knew we had a good game plan, and we knew our Corvette Daytona Prototype was going to be solid. We knew what our strengths were and tried not to get wrapped up in other people’s races, just worry about ourselves. We were able to do that and come away with the title. I am really pretty speechless. I am really proud to be a part of this group. I’m really grateful to Sonny Whelen and Action Express for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this team. For Action Express to have won all three Driver’s titles in this merged championship with the Corvette Daytona Prototype is kind of special. To be a part of that sweep is pretty amazing. And I’m pretty proud to have two Driver’s title for myself in two different classes; it is pretty amazing.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – THIRD IN PROTOTYPE RACE: “We would’ve been ecstatic if we knew we were going to end up on the podium. We were fifth or sixth, at best, on pace. We knew from the green flag we didn’t have a chance to get it done with outright speed and we were just going to have to get it done with no mistakes and executing. I wouldn’t say we had a flawless race – our telemetry went down for a little while, Ricky had a little issue in traffic – but we never really gave up. When we made it to fourth late in the race when the Mazda blew up, that restart was a little blessing because we had a strong car on restarts and we knew Dane wasn’t going to take too many risks with the championship on the line. I kind of put him in a precarious position and he didn’t fight back too hard, so we ended up with third and that made us best of the rest. Being the top DP in its last race isn’t too bad. (ON THE LAST DP RACE) I think after the year that we had with how big the difference was in speed in the class, everybody is probably happy to see that go away. But me, personally, driving the car, I’m going to miss that aspect of it. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to do bigger and better things.”
RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – THIRD IN PROTOTYPE RACE: “I don’t think we had a shot at the win with the pace of the P2s, but we’re very happy to be on the podium in the final race for the Daytona Prototypes. Obviously, we want to win, but for us, this is like a win to beat all the other DPs and be the only one on the podium as they’re going out. I made a little bit of a misjudgement and he (Luis Derani) was on cold tires, kind of pushed me wide, and a little contact with the curb was just enough to pop the nose off. Nine times out of 10 nothing would’ve happened, I would’ve just kept going. It was a shame it just popped the nose loose. But, at the end of the day, I think we finished right where we deserved to.”
MAX ANGELELLI, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – THIRD IN PROTOTYPE RACE: “It’s happened to me several times (driving under yellow for an extended period – 1 hour, 4 minutes of his 1 hour, 36-minute stint), at Daytona and other places. It’s just part of the deal, no problem. We got a good result. I’m very happy for the team. We ended up third. We were hoping to win, but P3 with those P2 cars out there is quite good. We qualified ninth yesterday but it was never a reason to worry. Our engineers, as always, found a way to give us a very good racecar on race day. Now it’s time to get ready for next year.”