Eric Curran has targeted a return to Whelen Engineering Racing for next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona as a potential fourth driver, in his quest to complete the North American ‘triple crown’ of endurance race victories.
The two-time IMSA Prototype champion teamed with Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr for top honors in last weekend’s Motul Petit Le Mans, in Curran’s final outing as the team’s third driver.
It was announced earlier this month that Filipe Albuquerque will join Derani and Nasr for the Michelin Endurance Cup races next year, coming as a consequence of Action Express Racing’s scaled-back single-car Cadillac DPi-V.R program.
Curran, who was replaced by Derani in the full-season roster this year, claimed his long-awaited first win at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday.
“Road Atlanta has been really good to me,” Curran told Sportscar365. “We’ve won a couple of championships here in IMSA but never had been able to pull off a win.
“It was always more on focused on the championship more than really going for the win.
“I obviously wanted to help these guys go for the championship but it just wasn’t in the cards. The Endurance Cup was but the big thing was the win.
“These guys are unbelievable. Pipo and Felipe, some of the most talented drivers I’ve ever seen and I’m excited to be part of a program with them.”
Curran, a longtime Whelen-sponsored driver, said he’s been grateful for the opportunities and level of success he’s achieved over the years as he sees himself “winding down” his career.
“It’s exciting to have a 15-year relationship with Whelen Engineering and championships, a Sebring win and now a Road Atlanta win. It’s pretty special,” he said.
“In my career, 25 years of doing this stuff, I’ve checked almost all of the boxes except Daytona.
“Daytona is the only one where I haven’t been able to get there.
“I hope to be in it for that race. That’s one thing that I’d really like to get that one done.
“I’m winding down my career but winning Daytona would be a big one.
“There’s maybe some other stuff coming up too but it won’t be quite as intense as this is about. I’ve had a good, long run and have checked off a lot of boxes. So it’s pretty cool.”