SEBRING, Fla. (March 14, 2007) – After missing the morning practice session due to a fire in Tuesday’s test session, Eric Curran, of East Hampton, Mass., climbed to the top of the time sheets in the afternoon SPEED GT practice session. Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., and Doug Peterson, of Bonita Springs, Fla., completed the top three.
Curran had many kind words for his Whelen Motorsports crew today after they repaired his No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette in time for the afternoon SPEED GT practice session. Curran was forced to miss the morning practice session after a failed oil filter in testing resulted in a car fire. After making repairs all morning, the crew had the car ready for Curran, who turned a 2:09.195 around the 3.7-mile Sebring circuit in the afternoon session with an average speed of 103.100 mph.
“These guys worked hard all day today,” Curran said. “This car yesterday was in flames and smoke; I got a little cooked and the car got cooked. It wasn’t looking good, but the Whelen Motorsport guys worked hard to put it back together today and the car is just great. It feels good to be back in a Corvette and back in GT and it’s fun to be the fastest car this afternoon.
“I wanted to make sure the car was good for qualifying and I went out there and drove hard. I had to do everything I could do to make sure we had a car for qualifying, so that was a qualifying session for me. We’re not going to change much on the car, we’re going to leave it alone and hopefully go that fast tomorrow.”
Fastest in the morning session, but bested by Curran in the afternoon, was Archer in the No. 5 Mopar/Autohaus Motorsport Dodge Viper. Archer navigated the historic Sebring circuit with a fast time of 2:09.677 (102.716 mph) in the opening laps of the short, 13-minute morning session. The 2004 SPEED GT Champion won the 2005 race at Sebring, also in a Dodge Viper.
Peterson, of Bonita Springs, Fla., improved on his morning time with a lap of 2:09.767 (102.645 mph) to hold down the third spot in his No. 87 LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette, just edging teammate Gigliotti, of Dallas, Texas, who’s best time was a 2:10.296 (102.228 mph), good enough for fourth-quick.
Former SPEED GT Champion Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., completed the top five with a time of 2:10.314 (102.214 mph).
Qualifying for Round One of the SPEED GT Championship begins Thursday, March 15, at 11:50 a.m. EST. To follow the action with live session notes and timing and scoring, visit the SCCA Pit Board link through the Sebring home page at www.world-challenge.com.