Following a successful debut for the Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida earlier this month, German driver Daniel Keilwitz will be joined by American Eric Curran this week for the Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas for the first race in the 2018 SprintX Championship.
“We have a great history with Eric, and we’re very excited to have him on board,” said Callaway Competition USA owner Reeves Callaway. “He has significant experience in Europe with our Corvette C7 GT3-R. He held the fastest lap at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in 2016. Combined with his knowledge of the tracks across North America, he’s the perfect addition to our team for the SprintX championship.
Having previously raced with Callaway Competition in Europe in the ADAC GT Masters, Curran will require no time getting familiar with the Corvette, which just celebrated a second place finish on its North American debut weekend. Also a competitor in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Curran will be able to provide valuable knowledge of all five tracks on the Pirelli World Challenge 2018 SprintX calendar to co-driver Daniel Keilwitz, who is new to racing in the United States. Most recently, Curran celebrated a third place finish in last weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, one of the most challenging endurance events in sports car racing.
“This is a really exciting time for me,” said Curran. “I’ve known Reeves Callaway, Mike Zoner, and everyone else on the team for 20 years, and its been a great relationship with them. We’ve been talking about me being a part of the Callaway Competition USA program, and here it is.”
Impressed but not surprised with the Corvette C7 GT3-R’s debut at St. Petersburg with Daniel Keilwitz, Curran expressed anticipation for using the team’s existing momentum to fight for additional podium finishes.
“With a fourth and second place finish on a demanding course, it’s no doubt the performance is there for Daniel and the team,” he said. “Daniel did a phenomenal job. With his background with Callaway Competition Germany and the Corvette C7 GT3-R, all the ingredients are coming together for a serious championship effort.”
Heading into SprintX Rounds 1 and 2 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Daniel Keilwitz is tied for second place with CRP Racing’s Daniel Morad. Built in 2012, the 20 turn, 3.427 mile track will offer two opportunities for the Corvette team to take the points lead. Keilwitz and Curran will be sharing the driving duties during the double header event splitting the 60 minute drive time in each race. All competitors will have a ten minute window during the race to make the mandatory pit stop after the 35 minute mark, with required tire changes as well, a new regulation to the 2018 rules. Each car will have to meet a pit lane delta; a specific minimum amount time of which the car must be in pit lane. The minimum driver change time will be set at 75 seconds, and the team has to spend an additional 45 seconds in pit lane from the moment they enter to the moment they leave. The fastest lap in race one will set the starting position for race two, with the driver who started the first event set to finish the second.
The Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas begins on Thursday, March 22 with the series test day, and the races to follow on Saturday, March 24 at 3:45PM Central and Sunday, March 25 at 2:10PM Central. Fans can watch both live streams for free via the Pirelli World Challenge YouTube channel, or world-challenge.com.
Source. KBru Communications