Eric Curran Takes Final Pole and Win at Lime Rock Park Lakeville, CT- When the final qualifying session was complete, Eric Curran [number 29 Garden Iron Mustang] earned the pole for the American GT Challenge event at Lime Rock Park. Curran ...
Eric Curran Takes Final Pole and Win at Lime Rock Park
Lakeville, CT- When the final qualifying session was complete, Eric Curran [number 29 Garden Iron Mustang] earned the pole for the American GT Challenge event at Lime Rock Park. Curran achieved the pole with a best lap of :52.874, edging out provisional pole earner Paul Newman who ended the final qualifying session with a :53.544. The top three grids spots were rounded out by Edison Lluch [number 72 Don Q/Eltuque Hotel and Resort Corvette] with a time of :53.838.
"The day went perfectly," said Curran. "I don't think it could have gone better, the pole and race win, what more could you need?"
"This is my first win in AGT. This series is great. The competitors are top notch and the cars are so equal," continued Curran. "I have to thank Woodson Duncan and Garden Iron for allowing me to compete in the car. And those Goodyear radials went the distance with ease."
Edison Lluch spent his first visit to Lime Rock hanging around the top three in most sessions. For Lluch, the weekend capped off a great experience. "It was great racing," said Lluch. "Everyone ran clean and fast. There are great cars here in a great series."
Lluch spent the first half of the race chasing down Paul Newman. Once around the number 79 car, Lluch set out after the 29 car. In the closing stages the gap had narrowed. Said Lluch after grabbing second place in the final results, "I told Eric let's turn the track around, go counter- clockwise for another 50 minutes and I'll lap him."
Jack Busch [number 05 Spectro Oils/Spiral Turbo Baffles Cutlass] had to reclaim a spot in the starting field after his Friday time was disallowed following a technical violation. Busch started the event from fourth position, but ended his race day atop the podium in third.
"The race was wonderful," said Busch. "Man these guys run tight. This has to be one of the best groups of these cars I have run against. Seventeen guys all fighting for position all day."
Mid-pack the battle was just as intense with Charlie Webster, Frank Ciopettini, Michael Brockman and Bill Rozmajzl jousting for track spots. Rozmajzl in the 'little V6 that could' waged war with Ciopetinni. The duo chased each other around with Rozmajzl gaining ground in the corners while Ciopetinni had the V8 grunt down the straights.
"What a clean race," offered Ciopetinni[number 6 Victoria Motorsports/Clover Enterprises Camaro]. "I had a great battle with the nine car[Rozmajzl]. It was fun! We will definitely be back for some more in AGT."
Front row started Paul Newman had his day end early with a drivetrain failure. The mechanical issue caused a fluid leak making for slippery conditions. Newman spent the better part of the event in pursuit of Curran. The 79 Corvette gave chase after the pole sitter only to have the mechanical issue sideline the run to the front. Mark Shaffer who traveled from Phoenix to become a part of the AGT made it to halfway. A non-working cool suit forced Shaffer out after the heat became too much. The number 20 Huffaker Mangusta of Garrett Kletjian broke an axle in the early going. The number 20 team attempted repairs but found the damage too much and had to end the event prematurely.
Lady luck was not riding with Bruce Nesbitt [number 11 Dimension Bond/DuPont Teflon Mustang]. Nesbitt went off course and into the wall with impact in turn nine with under ten minutes left in the event. Due to the need to retrieve the car, the event concluded under yellow.
As the sun set over Lime Rock Park, teams, drivers, family and friends enjoyed the evening at the Garden Iron/Don Q Rum hospitality tent. The common theme amongst the conversations; when is the next AGT event?