Long Beach Leaves Eric Curran Looking for Positive Results 4-time 2007 SPEED GT race winner shakes off another tough weekend; looks to Utah to jump start 2008 title bid. If there's a driver in the 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series ...
Long Beach Leaves Eric Curran Looking for Positive Results
4-time 2007 SPEED GT race winner shakes off another tough weekend; looks to Utah to jump start 2008 title bid.
If there's a driver in the 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series who's looking to turn his fortunes around, it's Eric Curran, winner of four SPEED GT rounds in 2007.
Eric Curran at the 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series round 2 event, held in Long Beach, California. (Photo: Jimmy Sykes) This time last year, Curran was celebrating his second consecutive victory, taking a thrilling win from round two at Long Beach. In 2008, Curran's had to display the poise and temperament of a veteran driver whose 2008 driver's championship bid has gotten off to a rough start.
"Tough races happen sometimes, I just wish it wouldn't have been two in a row." noted Curran. "My Whelen Engineering team has worked incredibly hard in the off season and deserve better than the results of Sebring and Long Beach, but we're not discouraged and we are not giving up on our goal of a driver's championship, or leading the charge to help deliver a manufacturer's championship for Chevrolet."
Curran might have departed Long Beach without his desired win, but the young star of the SPEED GT series found many positives to draw from last weekend. "My backup car was fast all weekend; we were 3rd fastest in practice with it. Unfortunately, we had an electrical issue that prevented me from qualifying--it was the proverbial '$0.2 cent' part that failed, but Teddy Marsh and the Whelen team got everything fixed and ready for the race. No matter how big the challenge that faces them, they don't flinch and just keep their heads down to give me the best car possible."
Forced to start from the back of the grid--unfamiliar territory for Curran--the driver of the #30 Whelen Engineering Corvette made up a number of spots at the start of the race. While picking his way past the tail end of the field, Curran was caught out by a few drivers that checked up quickly while entering the incredibly narrow turn two 'water fountain' corner. The resulting front-end damage, although slight, was enough to affect the #30 car's cooling, bringing a very premature end to his race.
"I was being cautious--I knew that it would be tough coming through the pack from the back on a street course. I just never expected them to lock up and create a logjam at turn two, and even the extra space I'd left wasn't enough. It's challenging to get past a pack of slower cars on a street course, for sure."
Going into the next round at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, Curran knows the a strong result at the 3rd round of the SPEED GT championship is crucial for his championship aspirations.
"We were really strong there last year, and I'm sure Sonny and I will be in the hunt again for a top result. Most things worth having require you to work hard to earn them, and I certainly believe we're prepared to work harder than ever to earn points, wins, and to get back in the title hunt. That's all I'm focused on."
Photo: Eric Curran in his #30 Whelen Engineering Corvette at the 2008 SCCA SPEED GT series round 2 event, held in Long Beach, California. (Photo: Jimmy Sykes)