Driver Spotlight: Eric Curran
Driver, No. 31 Action Express Racing/Whelen Corvette DP
Looking back at 2014, how do you feel the first season of IMSA went overall?
“Overall it was a bit of a difficult season for our team as well as the series. This was the first year that the Whelen/Marsh team had run a DP car, so coming from the Corvette GT car that we had run over the past few years, this was a big step up for our team.
“We knew that running with other DPs wasn’t going to be easy with the likes of WTR, Ganassi, Action Express and their years of experience but we charged forward learning as quickly as we could. This was also a tough year to come into the Prototype class with the ALMS/GRAND-AM merger and all of the rules changing constantly.
“I believe that IMSA learned a lot throughout the year, made some mistakes, and is hopefully going in a more positive direction into 2015. With the addition of Beaux Barfield and Simon [Hodgson] I feel that things should really take off in the right direction. I hate to see teams leaving rather than coming into the series but hopefully that will change.
“Lastly IMSA needs to find a way to reduce costs, not increase them by 50 percent. I’m optimistic though that the people in charge moving forward are going to do a great job in 2015.”
How would you summarize your 2014 season (positives, things to work on, successes, etc.)?
“The positive of 2014 was getting to learn and drive the Corvette DP with all of the updates that IMSA added to the car. I hadn’t had a lot of experience with carbon brakes for example, so having seat time understanding them was very beneficial. We did finish fifth at Road America and Petit Le Mans so those were our highlights of the year.
“Lawson [Aschenbach] and I did win the Continental GS race at Road America this year though. We had a decent season in GS finishing on the podium a number of times and winning one race. We had hoped for better results in DP this year, but I see them coming in 2015!”
Whelen is joining forces with Action Express for 2015. What advantages/opportunities does this create for your team next year?
“This is a huge opportunity for Whelen Engineering and myself. I’m really excited to be driving for one of the best prototype teams in the paddock.
“Action just came off of winning the championship this year and are on top of their game in the series. I feel very fortunate to be part of Action Express and Whelen Engineering’s new direction.
“This is the ninth year that I’ve been driving for Sonny Whelen’s Whelen Engineering Co., and I couldn’t be happier continuing to promote Whelen Engineering in every way possible. We have the ingredients for a great season in 2015.”
You will be switching co-drivers in 2015 as Dane Cameron comes on board. How difficult is it to adjust to a new co-driver? How do you think Dane will fit in to the team?
“I’ve known Dane for a number of years now and raced against him in the Rolex GT series. He’s a great talent and I don’t think we’ll have any issues adjusting to each other or the new team.
“It’s always a bit of a learning curve understanding how drivers operate, but Dane is a professional and will without question will do a great job. In the short time that we’ve spent together with this program, it’s been excellent. I foresee a great teammate in Dane along with the combination of a great team.
“The only downside is not racing with my buddy Boris [Said] anymore. That part is tough, as we’ve been teammates and friends for years. But I’m looking for big results for us going into 2015.”
Everyone has been a few memorable road trips. What’s your most memorable road trip? Where did you go, who were you with, maybe a funny story from the trip?
“The funniest road trip that tops my list is trying to race in three different series at two different tracks in two different countries during the same weekend. The tracks were Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Canada. Michael Galati, Charles Espenlaub and I all ran the same crazy schedule. We had to take three red-eye flights back-to-back to make it work.
“It was crazy! It was little to no sleep, racing every day and flying through Vegas with customs each night. Were it becomes really funny is that for three nights in a row we saw the same women at the same slot machine in Vegas each night of the layover.. She literally never moved for three days from that slot machine! Just smoking away on her cigarettes.
“We were starting to think that we were delirious with the lack of sleep. It was the funniest thing getting off that plane each night and seeing her.. And we smelled bad but she may have smelled even worse!
“The other funny moment was Galati needing to pee soo bad driving back and forth from the airport to the track. I wouldn’t stop until he almost wet his pants..
“He jumped out and went on the side of the highway, while I decided to drive off… He chased the car down the highway with him pants down. It was hilarious.. and even more funny with no sleep.”