Eric Curran, who won the 2016 and 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships in the Whelen Engineering Action Express Prototype, is to quit the cockpit for 2020.
Curran earned the IMSA drivers’ title with Dane Cameron in 2016 and Felipe Nasr in ’18, but last season elected to step back from full-time driving to become the endurance ‘extra’ alongside Nasr and new recruit Pipo Derani. This trio won the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans, also claiming the Michelin Endurance Cup.
Now, with Action Express reducing its entry from two to one car in 2020, and the Nasr/Derani partnership to be joined by Filipe Albuquerque for the longer races, Curran has elected to ditch his driving commitments.
“It’s the same thing Christian [Fittipaldi] experienced,” Curran said, recalling his AXR teammate who retired following the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona. “It is a big challenge to just jump into one of these DPis after being out of the car for a few months and be exactly where you were when you got out a couple of months before.
“I felt comfortable, but it was still a big challenge to take on. And part of that is the fact that IMSA is so incredibly competitive. If you want to be successful, everything on the team has to be operating at 100 percent — from the driver to the pit stops to the strategy…
“I think this is the right time to say ‘thank you,’ to Action Express. My schedule isn’t getting any slower — I am going to keep working on other projects and be rooting for the team instead of racing with them.
“Winning the IMSA championship last year, then being on the Daytona podium for the second year in a row, and finally closing the year by getting a sixth consecutive Michelin Cup with Action Express and winning in my last race in the car – this has been a really fantastic run.”
Curran has raced for Sonny Whelen and Whelen Engineering for the past 13 seasons, beginning in 2007 in the World Challenge. The relationship continued in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series plus NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and K&N Pro Series East, as Curran will continue working with Whelen Engineering in a different capacity in 2020 and beyond.
“Sonny and I have had an amazing run together in the racing world winning 17 professional races and two championships,” said Curran. “I can’t thank Sonny and Whelen Engineering enough for their support and I’m excited to move into other roles within the company.”
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