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LONG BEACH, Cali. (11 April 2016) - The Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype is headed west to the streets of Long Beach in pursuit of the team's first victory of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship following a runner-up performance in the Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Dane Cameron and Eric Curran have kicked off the 2016 championship in midseason form, and both are hoping that will lead to a victory in the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. The duo trail the defending series champions, in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP by a single point as the series reaches its third stop. The two Action Express Racing Corvette DPs currently lead all full-season competitors in the championship standings.
Last season, Cameron was one of the few drivers who made a pass for position in the two-hour sprint race, which ran under green flag conditions for the entire event. With the difficulty in gaining track position on the narrow and demanding street course, IMSA's winningest driver knows starting in the front and running a flawless race will be critical to his team's success.
"Long Beach is one of our toughest races of the year with such a condensed schedule for practice and a shorter race," said Cameron. "That format places a premium on showing up ready to go and maximizing every opportunity. It is tough to pass so qualifying well and using strategy and perfect pit stops to your advantage are a must at Long Beach. Overall its a great event and a really fun track to drive and I can't wait to get back to work in our No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP."
For Eric Curran, the 2015 season was remarkable for the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP, but despite the success, the part-time resident of Southern California is eager for more on the first stop of the West Coast swing.
"Long beach is an amazing venue being able to race in the streets and on the main roads of the city," said Curran. "The fact that at night the track turns right back into a main street just adds to the wow factor of this race. It's really difficult to top the atmosphere that you have at Long Beach with the fans and being right on the water. In addition to the atmosphere, you're part of a great racing history when you compete in the Long Beach Grand Prix and it would be incredible to win the race in our No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP."
Curran will make an appearance on Wednesday night with the Whelen Engineering Corvette DP at the annual "Roar in the Shore" event taking place in Belmont Shore on Second Street in front of Legends Sports Bar (5236 E Second Street). Curran will answer questions from IMSA Radio's Shea Adam and sign autographs for fans.
The Whelen Engineering Corvette DP currently sits third in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship after starting the season with a sixth place finish at Daytona and a runner-up result at Sebring.
Cameron has two previous starts in IMSA competition at the Long Beach Grand Prix, in 2014 with Risi Competizione and then last season with Action Express Racing. Cameron also made one start in the Formula Atlantic Series in 2008.
Curran has two starts, both coming in Coyote Chevrolet Corvette DPs, first with Marsh Racing in 2014, where he earned his first career top-5 finish in prototype competition, and then last year with Cameron in the Whelen Corvette DP for Action Express Racing.
The BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix gets underway with practice on Friday, April 15 at 7:40 a.m. PT, with qualifying for prototype competitors at 6:15 p.m. PT. All on-track activity can be heard on IMSA Radio throughout the weekend. The BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix goes green on Saturday, April 16 at 4:05 p.m. PT and will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 and on FOX Sports GO.
PALMER: St. Pete Debrief

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

St. Pete marks the second round of the 2016 Pirelli World-Challenge and the first of two street circuits we will be doing this year.

Because this round is back to back with the previous round at COTA, there was no time to go home and I landed in St. Pete on Monday with the team.

Tuesday we had completely off as truck load-in wasn’t until Wednesday morning.

What seemed like a one time deal in Texas, has now turned into a bit of team tradition: shooting guns.

While my lead mechanic suggested we go skydiving, I thought it would be better to hedge my bets before race week and suggested we go indoor karting and to the gun range.

Indoor karting with people involved in motorsport is never the following: friendly or relaxed.

As soon as we arrived everyone started asking the employees which kart was fastest and offered bribes to get that kart.

The workers were quick to tell us that they were the best racers around and not to hesitate for any advice on how to drive.

This column is no place to celebrate, however, I did win and end up with fast lap despite many mechanics and engineers frustration.

Now logically, when one finishes karting and has shaking arms and adrenaline, they should head to the gun range.

Bentley Team Absolute is most likely one of the most culturally diverse teams in PWC. With my engineer from Portugal, data engineer from England, mechanics from the USA, France, China, and Thailand, many of them had not fully taken advantage of 2nd Amendment rights.

Now I am one of the first to advocate for gun control and higher security standards.

However, going to a gun range is one of the easiest ways to have instant fun. Almost all mechanics had never shot a gun so it was an enlightening afternoon.

Wednesday marked the first day of business, however, I had come down with a pretty bad illness.

During truck load in I only briefly visited the track in order to go over a few things with my engineer, but spent most of the day making sure I would be ready for track action on Thursday.

Thursday kicked off with a morning track walk. One reason I love St. Pete is that it is also the opening round of the Verizon Indy Car Series. A lot of my good friends drive in that series so the morning track walk was filled with nice high fives as they drove past on their Taylor Dunns while I walked.

I find it much easier to gather the necessary information by walking and really examining every reference and bump instead of riding on a cart where you may miss a few things.

Thursday afternoon had two free practice sessions for PWC. The first session was extremely dusty and low grip as we were the first series to enter the track since last year.

After working through a few set up changes we ended the session in sixth knowing how to improve the car for the second session which was in a short 45 minutes after the first.

However, as soon as we got back we realized we had a braking issue. We tried to change it in time for the next session, however, we decided to skip the session and properly prepare the car for qualifying.

Qualifying on Friday did not go our way. On my best lap I found that it was a bit hard to find extra room and that walls don’t like to move for you. The car was fine but my exit onto the front straight was slowed by my mistake. We ended the session P9.

Race 1 was surprisingly calm. If I were a betting man, I would have put a lot of money on having at least one caution during the race, however, we instead got 40 laps of green. We didn’t nail tire pressures and ended up slowing near the end.

That said, looking at peoples response on Twitter, fans seemed to really enjoy the battle I had with Ryan Eversley. We gave each other room but raced hard.

Race 2 was a bit of the opposite. We saw limited green flag running, but the changes we made to the car overnight made it come alive. We went from P14 to P7 in a few laps of racing and earned the Hard Charger award for most positions gained of any car.

My Bentley Continental GT3 was hooked up and I wish we could have had some more laps to try and get on the podium.

Ultimately we salvaged a weekend and kept the cars together. There has been a lot of turmoil at the front and we have consistently finished inside the top 10 so I think we are actually looking alright in terms of the championship.

Now I have two days off before hopping in a kart for the Florida Winter Tour. If there is an opportunity to be racing something, I’ll be in it!



Patrón ESM Honda Prototype Wins Second Straight,

Backs Up Daytona Victory At 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

CORE autosport Returns To Winning Ways In Prototype Challenge


SEBRING, Fla. (March 19, 2016) – Coming off of a stirring victory in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda Ligier JS P2 returned to Victory Lane with a second consecutive triumph in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Pipo Derani captured the checkered flag in a final sprint in Saturday’s 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. With five minutes and 45 seconds to go, Derani passed Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP from Action Express Racing to take the lead and the eventual victory, sweeping Daytona and Sebring in back-to-back rounds of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

“What a tough race this was,” said Derani. “We had some contact, some spins, and moving our way back to the front was just unbelievable. In the end, I knew we had a great car, and new tires. But with only 10 to 15 minutes to go and still be in fourth was difficult to believe that we were going to make it. God had an eye on me and everything I executed was perfect. I can’t believe it all. It happened like that. I was so focused to bring the car home. The adrenaline was so high I couldn’t think about anything else.”

Cameron took second place in the No. 31 Corvette DP along with co-drivers Eric Curran and Scott Pruett. After leading the first two Patrón Endurance Cup segments, the sister Action Express No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette finished third, driven by Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque.

Fittipaldi led at the four-hour mark, picking up the five-point bonus for the first Patrón Endurance Cup segment. Barbosa had control at the eight-hour mark, bringing home another five points the No. 5 team earning the maximum 10-point bonus for leading both segments.

The Patrón Endurance Cup continues with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International in July and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in October.

CORE autosport Cruises To Victory In Prototype Challenge

Colin Braun took the lead in the Prototype Challenge (PC) at just under the halfway mark – at 5 hours and 52 minutes – and the No. 54 CORE autosport Flex-Box Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 dominated the second half of the race.

Joined by Jon Bennett and Mark Wilkins, Braun gave the team its second Sebring victory in three years. While attrition thinned the seven-car PC field, Tom Kimber-Smith stepped up in the defending class-winning No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09 to challenge Braun. Kimber-Smith was leading with 23 minutes remaining, but Braun executed what proved to be the winning pass moments before the final caution period began on lap 229.

“It was fun racing Tom [Kimber-Smith] and that whole group,” Braun said. “They are all class competitors. We almost had the field a lap down, but then the Corvette and the Porsche got together to close up the field. Mark did a great job holding Tom off before I got in. Then on the restart, some GT car ran into my door and spun me out. So we worked our way back through the field, and we did, because we had a fast race car. Jon did a great job early in the race managing the car in the monsoon - that certainly wasn’t an easy task. So it was a great job for the team.”

 Braun took the checkered flag 1.282 seconds ahead of Kimber-Smith, who co-drove with Robert Alon and Jose Gutierrez. Renger van der Zande, Alex Popow and David Heinemeier Hansson rebounded from problems early in the event to take third in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport entry.


Fans can watch action on TV or Internet stream

The 2015 international motorsports season gets underway with the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona, opening the Tudor United SportsCar Championship season. Race fans can follow the nonstop action on Fox, Fox Sports and IMSA.com, from the prerace grid and waving of the green flag all the way through twice around the clock to the checkered flag and victory lane celebrations. 
Thursday, Jan. 22 (all times ET)
Qualifying sets the field for both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the BMW Performance 200. Qualifying for the Tudor Championship will be streamed live on IMSA.com, beginning at 4 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 23
 The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge opens 2015 competition with the BMW Performance 200, streamed live on IMSA.com beginning with the green flag at 1:45 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 24
 The 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona kicks off the 2015 Tudor Championship season, and you can follow all the action live. The Fox Network begins coverage from 2-4 p.m. Fox Sports 2 takes over from 4-8 p.m., switching to FOX Sports 1 from 8-10 p.m.
Overnight, Jan. 24-25
IMSA TV on IMSA.com will live stream both video and commentary from 10 p.m.-7 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 25
Fox Sports 1 picks up the action at 7 a.m., with complete coverage through the checkered flag at 2:10 p.m. and victory lane celebrations through 2:30 p.m.
Live international broadcast stream available on IMSA.com.

By Autoweek Staff





 Founder Ed Inclan exlains the concept behind his organization

 Interview By: L.A. Pierre - Back to the Tracks” is a  community awareness program we started back in 1993.   This program focuses on promoting auto racing as a sport  while also educating people of the dangers associated with  illegal street racing.   Click here for complete interview  

 Annual car show raises community awareness about the dangers of street racing and money for children’s museum




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