Curran Sharpens Focus on 2009 World Challenge GT Title EAST HAMPTION, Mass. (March 10, 2009) - It is with good reason that road racer Eric Curran smiles when he sees the green flag of his 2009 racing season through the windshield, and that he...
Curran Sharpens Focus on 2009 World Challenge GT Title
EAST HAMPTION, Mass. (March 10, 2009) - It is with good reason that road racer Eric Curran smiles when he sees the green flag of his 2009 racing season through the windshield, and that he also smiles when he glances in the rear view mirror to savor 2008's results.
In little more than a week, the green flag will wave over the first official practice session of Curran's season, the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at Sebring, Fla., on March 20 at 4:55pm (EDT).
In that series, Eric starts his third season driving the Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette owned by Sonny Whelen, who will race an identical Corvette in the 10-race series.
"Going into the start of the 2009 season, I'm more excited than ever to be driving the Whelen Corvette," Curran said. "The crew at both Marsh Racing/Whelen Motorsports have been working very hard to resolve the mechanical issues we had last year. This has been a strong team over the past two seasons - winning five races and always qualifying at the sharp end of the grid. We want to get back there and stay there."
In the 2008 World Challenge GT season, Curran and the team recorded a dominant win at Mosport Park, Curran's most successful track in terms of numbers of race wins there. They added a second-place finish at Road America, Wis., and had three additional top-five events.
"The 2008 season was a long one for me," he said. "It was good in many ways, and bad in others. Working with the Georgian Bay Motorsports team and their Chevrolet Cobalt in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge series, Jamie Holtom and I won four races, which was enough to win the ST class Driver Championship for Jamie, the Team Championship for GBM, and the Manufacturer Championship for Chevrolet."
One race that sticks in Curran's craw, however, is his NASCAR debut at Lime Rock Park, where he raced the Whelen Engineering/Debt Cures Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the NASCAR Camping World series.
"Had it not been for a number of cautions, and starting from the back of the pack because qualifying was rained out and we didn't have any points, I potentially could have won my first NASCAR event. I led for a number of laps after getting pushed around on my way up through the pack, but the cautions hurt my chances. I guess I still can't complain about a sixth-place finish after starting last." Curran recalled, wistfully.
"We had a good car, I have thousands of racing miles on the Lime Rock track, and I know where the Winner's Circle is," he said.
"I had a lot of fun in 2008, though. I did 26 races in seven series, including a 'just for fun' 25-hour race to end the season with the Davis team. I also ran in both the GT and Touring classes of SCCA World Challenge, both the Rolex GT and KONI series in Grand-Am, plus the American Le Mans Series, NASCAR, Playboy MX-5 Cup and NASA.
"That was fun, but this year I've decided to cut down on the total number of races and focus on championships, hopefully, for the Whelen team in World Challenge GT. Last year was hard on my life outside of racing with all the traveling. This is a much more focused year."