News & Multimedia

Action Express Racing Wins Rolex 24

It was an instant classic for the debut of a new chapter in North American motorsports.
 
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup debuted with a record crowd and a thrilling finish in the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona, won by Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
 
A late incident set up a 10-minute sprint to the checkered flag, with a potential ‘feel good’ story in the making. Two-time Rolex 24 winner Wayne Taylor – out of retirement for a final opportunity to co-drive with sons Ricky and Jordan – could only watch as Max Angelelli prepared to unleash “the Ax” in a dash to the finish.
 
But Barbosa was not to be denied, coming home with his second overall victory at Daytona in five years for Action Express by a 1.461-second margin of victory. He won his third Rolex Daytona Cosmograph (he also won in class in 2003), while Fittipaldi took his second (overall in 2004) and Bourdais – a four-time Champ Car World Series champion – won the event for the first time.
 
The race was marred in the early going by a horrific crash when Memo Gidley – driving the pole-winning No. 99 GAINSCO Corvette DP – rear-ended the disabled No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Matteo Malucelli. Both drivers were taken to nearby Halifax Hospital, where they are undergoing treatment. The race was red-flagged for 55:45 minutes after the incident.
 
The race featured 52 lead changes, with the winning Action Express team leading 18 times for 313 laps, and the Wayne Taylor Racing team 12 times for 228 laps. The winning team completed 695 laps on the 3.56-mile circuit, covering 2,474.2 miles for the team owned by Daytona Beach businessman Bob Johnson.
 
“Bob was convincingly, absolutely dead sure we were going to win it,” Bourdais said. “He was right. The guys were prepared. Everybody knew exactly what to do and how to do it, and the execution was perfect. What can I say? It’s a dream come true.”
 
The Taylors’ dream was dashed by Barbosa’s great jump on the restart with four laps remaining.
 
“I tried everything to find a good balance, a good run,” Angelelli said. “But I didn’t have enough for him. I thought I had (enough) when I picked up the car for the final two stints. But the final rush, unfortunately not.”
 
While the new Corvette C7.R that raced in the GT Le Mans class and its street counterpart – the Z06 – opened the event with plenty of fanfare, the Corvette DP flexed considerable muscle of its own by sweeping the top four positions.
 
Brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle joined John Martin and Fabien Giroix in the third-place No. 9 Action Express Corvette DP, followed by Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP. Two-time ALMS P1 champions Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr led the LMP2-based Prototypes by finishing fifth with Alex Brundle in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Nissan/ORECA.
 
Three months after setting the all-time speed record on the 2.5-mile Daytona tri-oval, Colin Braun took his first Rolex 24 victory in Prototype Challenge. Braun swept to a one-lap triumph in the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 with Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins and James Gue.
 
“We worked really, really hard to come up with a plan that we wanted to stick with,” Braun said. “We came prepared this weekend and executed our plan, down to being fastest in the opening two practice sessions, winning the pole and I think we led the most laps.”
 
Enzo Potolicchio, Tom Kimber-Smith, Mike Marsal and Rob Huff took second in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry, followed by Ryan Booth, Raphael Matos, Tomy Drissi, Gabriel Casagrande and Julio Campos in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry.
 
In addition to the victory, Action Express Racing grabbed the early lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. Leading the final two of four segments allowed Action Express to tally 17 points, two more than the total of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Wayne Taylor Racing, with 15.
 
Chevrolet leads the Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup Prototype Manufacturers standings with 18, Followed by Ford with 15 and Nissan with 13 points. CORE autosport took over the lead in Prototype Challenge (PC), scoring 19 points to lead 8Star Motorsports with 16 points.
 
The Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup will also include the Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda.
 

Story Courtesy of IMSA
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Action Express Racing Wins Rolex 24
 
Action Express Racing Wins Rolex 24
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup debuted with a record crowd and a thrilling finish in the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona, won by Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
Read More
Related Media
Jimmie Johnson
 
Johnson Holds Off Harvick on Late-Race Restart in Atlanta
Coors Light Pole-sitter Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick dominated the early and middle stages of Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway—before Jimmie Johnson decided to crash the party.
Read More
Joey Logano
 
Logano Captures His First Daytona 500 Victory
The record will reflect that Joey Logano won Sunday’s 57th Daytona 500 under caution, when a multicar wreck on the backstretch forced NASCAR to wave the yellow flag as Logano led the field into the final corner on the second lap of a green-white-checkered-flag finish.
Read More
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
 
Ten To Watch in Second Year of NASCAR's Elimination Chase
With the same format in place for 2015, which four drivers might we see at Homestead this time in the title fight? Might it be a completely different foursome than 2014?
Read More
Jeff Gordon
 
What's New, Who's New in NASCAR Sprint Cup
In the Series there are enough new storylines to require a primer going into the season opener next week at Daytona. Here are five that you’ll hear plenty about as the weeks roll on.
Read More
Jeff Gordon
 
Gordon To Run Final NASCAR Season in 2015
Jeff Gordon, the celebrated stock car champion whose crossover appeal helped take NASCAR into the mainstream, will compete in his 23rd and final full-time Sprint Cup Series season in 2015. He announced his decision this morning to the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team he has driven for since November 1992.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 593
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Today’s ‘1 picture, 100 words’ on The Blog features two @Team_Penske greats: http://t.co/CrfLBrz1Xx #Indy500
about 35 minutes ago