Eric Curran Utah SPEED World Challenge GT Race Report 4-time 2007 race winner looks to Watkins Glen for a reversal of fortunes. Eric Curran and his Whelen Engineering SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT team had marked round three at the Miller ...
Eric Curran Utah SPEED World Challenge GT Race Report
4-time 2007 race winner looks to Watkins Glen for a reversal of fortunes.
Eric Curran and his Whelen Engineering SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT team had marked round three at the Miller Motorsports Park track in Tooele, Utah, as the event to turn their season around.
While that plan had been working to perfection in practice and qualifying, Curran would leave Utah with his sights set on round four to jumpstart his 2008 championship efforts.
"I was very excited going in the Miller weekend," Curran said. "I was back in my main Corvette--the one that was damaged at Sebring. The car was working great and I was in the top three in practice and qualified fourth. The # 30 Whelen Corvette was perfect."
Curran's fortunes changed just moments prior to taking his 4th place starting spot on grid. "On the warm up lap for the race I noticed the engine was running roughly when it revved over 6500 RPM's. I told my crew chief about it over the radio and hoped it would clear up before the lights went green. The lights went out and I started the race, but the car was running even worse--bad enough that I came in and parked it."
The cause of the issue was soon traced to a faulty electrical component, but not before Curran's chances in round three were gone. "I feel bad for the crew; the Whelen Engineering crew has worked so hard to give me the best car in the field. The problem turned out to be a bad coil pack-there's no way we could have predicted it would fail. I thought we had the monkey off our back but it has continued... The Whelen guys are some of the best guys out there and we'll be more prepared than ever at Watkins Glen."
Although Curran has been forced to persevere through tough time in the 2008 SPEED GT season, he's taken great pride in his team owner and teammate Sonny Whelen's continued progress in the series. "Sonny has been doing great in his #31 Whelen Engineering Corvette. He and I have worked hard on testing and studying our data very closely. Sonny will be a threat to the World Challenge competitors all season long. Despite my tough results, I couldn't be happier to be working with such a great group of dedicated guys like Sonny and his entire Whelen Engineering team."
With the frustrations of Utah already behind him, Curran is counting the days until he can climb back into his #30 Corvette. "We're very excited to be headed to Watkins Glen next. We've done some testing there recently and expect nothing but positive results. Plus, we were very fast there last year. For me and the entire Whelen crew, we're going to keep our heads up and be a strong as possible for the rest of the season. We've shown that we have what it takes to succeed, and I know we'll be right back to where we belong."