Three months removed from scoring their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Prototype Championship, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R. drivers, Eric Curran and Dane Cameron took to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway for the annual three-day Roar Before the 24 in preparation for the 55th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
While full-time No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac teammates, Christian Fittipaldi and João Barbosa have collected victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Eric Curran and Dane Cameron are seeking their first victories in the event.
“I think everything is going well, we’re working through the learning curve of our new Whelen Cadillac this weekend. The Roar is a big weekend because it’s the last time you can gain miles on your car to be prepared for 24 hours in a couple of weeks,” said Curran.
“The guys on the Action Express Racing team are working hard to learn as quick as we can because everyone has new cars and new equipment. We’re not where we want to be yet, but we’re showing pretty good pace as we focus on the reliability and speed to be competitive and on top of the podium at the end of January.”
While the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac has the same full-time drivers returning for the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the addition of former IndyCar driver, Mike Conway and Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner, Seb Morris meant adjusting to new surroundings.
For Morris, piloting the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R has been a learning experience, but he’s hopeful the seat time during the Roar will be beneficial when he comes back for the Rolex 24.
“It’s going really well, we had various run plans scheduled including driver changes, and different strategies of high speed runs, low speed runs, long runs, short runs, practicing pit entry and pit exit to maximize our time. It’s been everything I wanted and more. I am very happy with the team and the time in the car has been generous, especially not being here before. I got used to the car very quickly, and I can tell that its a car I will suit.”
“The Daytona 24 is our biggest event each year. We always focus on finding the right balance of speed and reliability,” said team manager Gary Nelson. “As we expected, Dane, Eric, Mike and Seb got up to speed right away so it was nice to check that box. We plan to go back to our shop and work hard on the car, spares and pit stops. We are confident when we return to Daytona, we will be ready.”
Veteran Drivers looking for return to Victory Lane
The annual three-day Roar Before the 24 occurred over the weekend in preparation for the 55th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac driven by Portuguese speaking drivers of Christian Fittipaldi, João Barbosa, and Filipe Albuquerque are looking to once again stand atop the podium in Daytona.
“We are really pleased with the progress we have made in the short time we have with this new car. Every racer wants to take home trophies from Daytona so each team always brings their A game here,” said team manager Gary Nelson. “Action Express with our six out of six championships in three years in the top division of road racing in America, plans to keep doing what we know best, compete for wins and championships.”
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling team of drivers each have tasted victory during the twice around-the-clock endurance race, but all are eager for return trip to Victory Lane in the new Cadillac DPi-V.R
“We’re going through the program and process of getting our cars ready for a 24-hour race. There were areas we expected less obstacles but that is part of the learning curve with a new car. Everyone in the garage is facing the same thing and it’s not only us,” said Fittipaldi.
“We’re happy with the progress we gained and feel well-prepared for the 24 hours. We’re not where we want to be compared to past year’s, but I’m quietly confident of what we can do here at the end of January.”
Action Express Racing is in pursuit of a third overall victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Source. HiRev Racing