Road America Race Notes: Eric Curran
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Road America SPEED GT 2nd Place

& SPEED TC 6th place

Almost like a win.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 10, 2008)

After the unfortunate frustrations team owner Sonny Whelen and I have gone through this year with the Whelen Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette C6 in the SCCA SPEED GT Championship series, Sunday's second place finish felt almost as good as a win.

The second place, even though the race ended with the field under control of the pace car -was ironically balanced by Sonny's dropping from the race on the fifth lap with a flat-spotted tire. Sonny drove really well all weekend long, he deserved a good finish, but at least this race showed we're getting back on track after a difficult start to the season.

We were also helped by the SCCA rules-makers who took away 10% of the intake restrictions that had been placed on us to help even the competition, although until now my fourth place finish has been the best result by any Corvette driver all season. Ford Mustangs, Porsches and Dodge Vipers have won races so far, and today's win by Tommy Archer in his Viper made that third win this season.

I was able to qualify fifth for today's race, got a really good start, jumped ahead of Brian Kubinski's Corvette, and stayed in fourth place until lap 15. Until then, the order was Archer, Andy Pilgrim's Cadillac, Jason Daskalos in a Viper, and myself.

On lap 16. Andy Pilgrim lost the engine in his Cadillac. Whatever caused it was, his car erupted in a fireball going down the hill into turn five and dropped all its remaining oil on the track.

Daskolos zigged, Curran zagged -- and Curran made the right decision. Daskolos was suddenly back in 13th place and I was in second for the last three laps, which were all done behind the safety car. Sad way to end a race, but 10 years from now, there won't be an asterisk on the results that said I inherited second. I made a decision to go out in the edge of the track a little, and it was the right one. Had I stayed on line and gone through the oil, I could have been in the same boat as Daskolos.

Earlier in the day, I also competed in the SPEED Touring car race with my old teammates, RealTime Racing and their fleet of Acuras. In fact, the #45 car I raced was the same chassis I drove when I raced with team owner Peter Cunningham and his Acura gang, then his Nissans, for a number of years. That experience even earned me Nissan's first win in the series, and at Road America.
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