The Continental Road Race Showcase Comes to Road America This Weekend By: Road America
ACTION EXPRESS RACING IS READY FOR ROAD AMERICA
- Continental Road Race Showcase Comes to Road America August 3 - 6 -
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., AUG. 1, 2017 - Action Express Racing returns to Road America this weekend with new cars carrying familiar paint schemes in a bid to extend its three-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship winning streak at the circuit. The Continental Road Race Showcase runs this Thursday through Sunday.
After winning a perfect six titles in three seasons of WeatherTech Championship competition with its Corvette Coyote Daytona Prototype, Action Express Racing has taken on a new challenge in 2017.
While the Corvettes are now part of the IMSA history books, the team returns both driver lineups and most of its support personnel to field a pair of Cadillac Daytona Prototype internationals.
Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi return to the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R team that captured both the 2014 and 2015 WeatherTech Championships in addition to sweeping the Patron North American Endurance Cup from 2014 through 2016.
The No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Cadillac DPi-V.R is led by defending WeatherTech Championship titlists Eric Curran and Dane Cameron.
In addition to being historically strong at Road America, Action Express Racing has been gaining momentum after watching Cadillac DPi rival Wayne Taylor Racing win the opening five rounds of the 2017 season. Fittipaldi and Barbosa - joined by Filipe Albuquerque - broke through by winning the recent Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
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'Historically, as seasons roll along, we get stronger, while other people run out of gas a little bit,' said Action Express team manager Gary Nelson. 'I believe that's the result of our preparation. The long straightaways at Road America require a mix of downforce and aero drag, and we seem to be able to find that combination very well and are able to match that to our gearing. Our trend has been to come on strong at Elkhart Lake and the other races late in the season, and I hope to see that happening again this year.'
This weekend, Curran and Cameron will be looking to complete the Road America hat trick in the No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R.
'Road America is a lot of fun, because it's an old-school racetrack that's been around a long time,' Curran said. 'It's a special place. I've been racing there a long time - 15 years or so - and I used to do a lot of testing there for RealTime Racing. Action Express has done very well there. Dane (Cameron) and I won the last two years in the red and white Whelen Corvette DP, and we're excited to return with our new Whelen Cadillac on that fast, flowing track. Road America is in my top three or four tracks, and I think it really suits our Cadillac.'
Curran is a three-time winner at Road America, joining John Heinricy in taking Rolex Series GT honors in 2011 in the Marsh Racing/Whelen Engineering Corvette.
'Road America really suits the way we like to run our cars and the Action Express team philosophy,' Cameron said. 'For me, it's always been a good place. I've won there the last three years (winning in GTD in 2014 with Turner Motorsport), and I was leading there the year before that in a Team Sahlen Prototype before it broke with only a few minutes to go. It's a great track, and it's always suited me with its long straights and hard braking zones. It's a ton of fun, and I can't wait to get back there. Also, my wife's family is from the Chicago area, so we will have a bunch of people watching us this weekend.'
Fittipaldi and Barbosa won in the WeatherTech Championship's Road America debut in 2014 in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, and then finished second behind teammates Curran and Cameron at the circuit the past two seasons.
'I think racing the Cadillac for the first time at Road America is going to be a big learning curve, but I think we've made a lot of progress since our race at Detroit,' Barbosa said. 'Road America is a great race track for the drivers, and I think it's going to be an amazing track with the new DPi cars, with all the downforce and speed that they have. Action Express has always done a good job there, so I'm looking forward to seeing if we can continue the success we've had there.'
Everything for the Continental Road Race Showcase begins on Thursday with test sessions for all the classes from 10:35 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be open karting all weekend at the CTECH Manufacturing Motorplex plus the Road America Zip Line will be open daily.
There will also be a free Family Fun Zone for Children age 12 and under on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Turn 1. All children must be with parent or guardian.
Practice and qualifying takes up the majority of the day on Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Then, on Friday night, the Tour de Road America runs from 6 to 8 p.m. where fans will get a chance to bike around the track with proceeds benefiting the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
Purchase of a race ticket is required for registration. There also are special registration opportunities for IMSA drivers and team members. In addition, a variety of sponsorship and donor opportunities are available. Fans are encouraged to visit www.TourDeRoadAmerica.com to register.
Road America will also be hosting its Most Awesome Campsite Contest over the weekend. Judging takes place on Friday with announcement of the winner at the fan forum on Saturday. Winning campsite and campers receive free tickets of their choice and a campsite to a 2018 Road America event. All campers can also stay until Noon on Monday.
Saturday is an action packed day full of world-class racing. The feature race will be the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at 4:35 p.m. Practice and qualifying for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race fills the afternoon on Saturday as the best sports car racers in the world will be looking to get a good starting position for Sunday. Earlier on Saturday the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge will host its first race of the weekend at 11:30 a.m., then at 2:30 p.m., the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo takes to the track.
Sunday is just as exciting as Saturday with the second IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge race in the morning at 9:40 a.m. Fans will have plenty to look forward to throughout the day with autograph sessions, parade laps, and a chance to get up-close to the cars on the front straightaway before the afternoon action begins.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship hits the twists and turns of Road America at 1:35 p.m., with some of the best sports cars and drivers in the world looking for a win on the revered 4-mile, 14-turn road course.
Tickets and camping areas are available and additional event details, schedules, ticket pricing and camping information can be found at www.roadamerica.com or by calling 800-365-7223. Anyone 16-years-old and under gets in FREE with a paying adult at the gate. All races run rain or shine.
About Road America: Established in 1955, Road America is located midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The world's best racers have competed at this legendary four-mile, 14-turn road circuit for over 60 years. The 640-acre, park-like grounds offer amazing viewing opportunities, fantastic concessions and high-speed excitement to hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. In addition to public race weekends, Road America offers a variety of group event programs, the CTECH Manufacturing Motorplex for karting and supermoto, and the Road America Motorcycle and Advanced Driving Schools. For more information, visit www.roadamerica.com Follow Road America onwww.facebook.com/RoadAmerica and on Twitter: @roadamerica or call 800-365-7223.