Curran Laments Tough Sebring Result; Aims For Strong Long Beach Dry weather tires and standing water destroy Curran and his Whelen Engineering Corvette's chance to repeat 2007 Sebring victory. Eric Curran started the 2007 Sebring World ...
Curran Laments Tough Sebring Result; Aims For Strong Long Beach
Dry weather tires and standing water destroy Curran and his Whelen Engineering Corvette's chance to repeat 2007 Sebring victory.
Eric Curran started the 2007 Sebring World Challenge opener from the front row and went on to build a commanding lead in wet/dry conditions on his way to the first of four wins during the season. 2008 would see none of the dry conditions, with a massive downpour falling at the start of the race and deep puddles forcing even the best drivers to aquaplane and crash.
Add rainmeister Eric Curran to the list of those to suffer an accident in a race SCCA officials chose to run despite the entire field being fitted with dry weather tires. Curran was perplexed at SCCA's choice yet again.
"The heavens didn't open up until we were on pre-grid, and it wasn't really expected--it surprised everyone. What surprised everyone even more was how the SCCA chose to start the race with inches of standing water throughout the track rather than delaying the start to let everyone put on full-tread Toyo's, or to red flag the race and allow everyone to do just that. I don't understand their decision or lack there of; letting thirty 500 horsepower cars race on near-slick tires on a floating track surface is something I just can't come to grips with.
"If it wasn't me crashing early on, it would have been someone else. We're racing drivers; we're there to race and put on a show--if the SCCA turns on the green lights, we'll do our best to go as fast as possible and as safe, but we shouldn't be put in a position to have t tip-toe around and pray we don't crash on tires that aren't intended for wet conditions. It was a tough and expensive day for us and for a lot of other drivers."
Although Curran learned to drive in rain and snow, and relishes racing in adverse conditions, he never had the chance to battle his fellow SPEED GT drivers at Sebring. "This was man against his own machine, not racing drivers racing head to head with each other. This wasn't a race; if we'd actually tried to race each other, the entire field would have crashed. I really hope the SCCA learns from this--after Road Atlanta last year and now Sebring in '08, how rain races are handled needs to be addressed."
With the frustration of Sebring now behind him, Curran has chosen to focus on the positives coming up at the next round: Long Beach. "Based on last year's result (a win) and it being the best, most exciting race of the year for me, I obviously can't wait to go back. We're still not clear on what car I'll be driving--my #30 Whelen Engineering Corvette was really hurt last weekend, but Teddy Marsh and his crew are working overtime to get a car ready for me. The 2008 season starts for me at the Long Beach Grand Prix--I'm out to score maximum points and to work towards a championship this year."