Denver, N.C. (20 January 2013) – In its very first race, Action Express Racing made history when it won the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona and the team looks to repeat the feat as a new era of sports car racing is set to begin this weekend with the opening round of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the 52nd running of the twice around the clock endurance event.
With the race demanding the perfect combination of speed, experience, and preparation, the team has assembled a venerable group that has set out to accomplish the winning goal in what is expected to be one of the most competitive Rolex 24 events yet.
Full season Action Express Racing drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi will be joined by current IndyCar racer Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype.
Both Burt and Brian Frisselle return to the team’s No. 9 Action Express Racing/Millennium Corvette Daytona Prototype and will team with Frenchman Fabien Giroix and Australian John Martin as part of a partnership with Delta-ADR of Great Britain for the Rolex 24.
Martin’s racing path has already crossed with that of IMSA’s leader Jim France, as the Australian ace raced in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans – driving as the opening driver when Jim France waved the French flag to start the endurance classic.
All seven drivers logged laps at the Roar Before the 24 test days two weeks ago at Daytona as Action Express Racing worked to adapt to a new set of regulations under the United SportsCar Championship banner. The team’s hard work over the offseason showed when the No. 5 Corvette DP delivered the quickest lap of the test. Fittipaldi set a fast lap of 1.38.630-seconds in the very first practice session which stood as the top time all weekend.
“We will approach the Rolex 24 just as we always have,” offered Team Manager Gary Nelson. “We have a 24-hour plan that we have used for many years. We have put together two solid cars and I’m really happy with the progress that we have made over the offseason. We always try to leave a little room around us and plan to remain in contention until the end.
The team continues to build on what was a very successful 2013 season which saw Action Express Racing grow as a competitive group with a run to fourth in the championship, victories at both Mid-Ohio and the 6 Hours of the Glen, and a double podium finish at Road America. Action Express Racing aims for even higher results in 2014.
Action Express Racing will make its fifth Rolex 24 start this year with the team having fielded a two-car entry the previous three years. In addition to the team’s historic debut victory, Action Express Racing took a podium finish in the 2011 event with Barbosa, Fittipaldi, Terry Borcheller, JC France and Max Papis. The No. 9 Corvette DP of Barbosa, Burt Frisselle, and Mike Rockenfeller finished fourth last year.
The team’s extensive knowledge of long endurance races combined with the deep talent pool of drivers, sees the 2010 Rolex 24 Champions among the most well-prepared teams in the paddock.
Fittipaldi (2004) and Barbosa (2003, 2010) are both Rolex 24 winners and the Frisselle brothers will each make their 10th Rolex 24 starts this year. Bourdais has a wealth of experience in 24-hour endurance race events as he has made several starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in addition to his four previous Rolex 24 events. The 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona will mark both Giroix’s and Martin’s debut in the prestigious race but each have race experience in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We feel great – I think we learned a lot in every session at the Roar which helped add to our positive preparation for the race,” said Team Owner Bob Johnson. “We wanted to learn a lot and get better and build on our endurance strategy and make sure all of the equipment is working as we want it to for the 24 hours. The speed is great, but that isn’t the main objective. We want to be there at the end of the 24 hours.”