Story By: WHELEN ENGINEERING RACING – MANSFIELD, OH – The last time that race fans saw Whelen Engineering Racing in action at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the famous red “W” adorned the side of a GT-Class Chevrolet Corvette in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
Fast forward four years, and the Whelen Engineering colors are ready to fly at the natural terrain road circuit once again as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to the track for Sunday’s Mid-Ohio 250 (FS2 1:00 PM ET live broadcast).
Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr will share the driving duties in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R for the two hour, forty-minute race as they look to return to the top of the IMSA championship tables. The duo proved potent in the most recent round as the Whelen entry led 16 laps of the BUBBA Burger Grand Prix in Long Beach and posted impressive times in the race before seeing the effort thwarted following contact from another car.
Curran knows the Mid-Ohio circuit well, as he was the most recent driver to cross the finish line at the 2.258-mile circuit for Whelen, taking a hard-fought fifth place GT finish in 2013.
The American racer is looking forward to taking on the circuit, which features a pair of long straights as well as an undulating back half that has several blind corners and surface changes, making for a challenge every lap for the drivers. Curran has proven to be up for that challenge through the years, having secured a World Challenge victory on board the Whelen Corvette as well as an SCCA National win.
“Mid-Ohio is a pretty awesome place and I’ve never been there in a Prototype so I’m really looking forward to the weekend and getting to drive the Whelen Cadillac Prototype there,” said Curran, who recently joined Adam Carrolla’s podcast (link: http://www.carcastshow.com/podcast-eric-curran-long-beach-grand-prix-recap). “Our team did a great job at Long Beach and we had a great car, but our good racing luck didn’t make the trip out to California with us! Mid-Ohio has some awesome fans and I think it’s great that IMSA got us back there again, so we will look to get back to the top of the podium this weekend at Mid-Ohio.”
The team opened the season with a pair of IMSA podiums in the Rolex 24 At Daytona (runner-up) and then the Sebring 12 Hour (P3) and is aiming for the top step of the box on Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve never even been to Ohio, so I am looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio and getting to race on this track,” said Nasr, who is making his first full-season IMSA campaign. “It looks like a great track, with some technical sections and elevation changes so I think it is going to be fun for the drivers. Our Whelen Cadillac Prototype was quick at Long Beach and I hope we can have a clean run again and get back to the podium.”
The weekend will open with practice on Friday, with a 15-minute qualifying session at 12:55 PM on Saturday ahead of the 1:00 PM ET race start on Sunday.