The Mustang Sampling Chevrolet Corvette DP continues to lead the championship standings
Monterey, Cali. - Action Express Racing enters the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix with cars first and fourth in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship standings. The two entries make up a tight four-way battle separated by only 11 points following the first three events of the season.
While the Mustang Sampling Chevrolet Corvette DP continues to lead the championship standings, the Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP team was able to narrow the gap from 13 points to 11 following Dane Cameron's late race pass on teammate João Barbosa.
In addition to Cameron making the pass on his teammate, the defending series champion, he was also able to post the fastest lap of the race, the second time in three races that the Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP has had the fastest lap in an event.
With the traffic this year you need to pick the times to be aggressive and the time to sit back and wait.
With the early season bad luck in the rearview mirror, the duo of Cameron and Curran have announced to the sports car world that they are championship contenders as the series enters the fourth event on the ten race calendar.
Meanwhile, defending series champions João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi have picked up where they left off. Although the fifth place finish wasn't what they had in mind when they started the afternoon in Long Beach, the day was par for the course in the consistent history of the pairing.
"You go into every event trying to score maximum points," said Barbosa. "Long Beach just wasn't our race, so we worked hard and scored a fifth place finish which allowed us to maintain the points lead, which was the most important thing to accomplish."
Likewise, teammate Christian Fittipaldi knows each race is a new opportunity to maximize points and is extremely optimistic about the chances of taking the Mustang Sampling Corvette DP to Victory Lane on Sunday afternoon.
"We had a fast car here last year," said Fittipaldi. "More importantly, we've had fast cars at each race this season. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a track that presents numerous passing zones, and with a fast car you can take advantage of opportunities to move up."
This year's race features a major change, the race is forty minutes longer, and all four classes of the TUDOR Championship will be on the track at the same time, instead of the two hour double header from a year before.
"Track position is going to be huge at the beginning of the race," said Eric Curran, driver of the NO. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP. "You have passing opportunities here, but with the additional cars on track this year, traffic is going to be a major challenge.
Curran's co-driver Dane Cameron knows the race is going to come down to a balance of patience and aggression.
"You have to race every race intelligently," said Cameron. "With the traffic this year you need to pick the times to be aggressive and the time to sit back and wait. Getting the car in a good position at the start is going to be important, and then being mistake free will be key for the rest of the race. The competition is tight this year and if you make a mistake you're going to lose one or two positions very quickly."
The weekend gets underway on Friday afternoon with the first of three practice sessions for the TUDOR Championship competitors at 11:30 a.m. PT. Qualifying for the prototype class will take place Friday at 5:30 p.m. PT. The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix goes green at 1:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 3, with live coverage on Fox Sports 1.
Action Express Racing