Action Express Racing Announces 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona Driver Lineup
All-Star Lineup Includes Seven Former Rolex 24 Overall Race Winners
DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- Action Express Racing announced today its two-car driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The defending race champions return to the scene of their historic first win with a stellar cast of drivers that includes seven former Rolex 24 overall race winners and two longtime GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series DP regulars.
Joao Barbosa and two-time overall Rolex 24 winner Terry Borcheller (2004, 2010) return in the No. 9 Porsche/Riley to defend their 2010 victory, joined by 2002 race winner and 2004 DP class champion Max Papis, 2004 race winner Christian Fittipaldi, and JC France.
Team veterans David Donohue and Darren Law will lead the No. 5 Porsche Cayenne V8-powered Riley, along with 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice and series regular Burt Frisselle. The trio of Donohue, Law and Rice - along with Antonio Garcia of Spirit of Daytona Racing - teamed up for the 2009 Rolex 24 win for Brumos Racing.
Action Express Racing will look to make it two wins in a row and three consecutive wins for Porsche in America's prestigious endurance race on January 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. Porsche has more Rolex 24 overall race victories than any other manufacturer (22).
"We are very excited and are looking forward to racing in the Rolex 24. Daytona has always been a special place for me," said team manager Gary Nelson. "This year I feel privileged to work with "World Class" drivers and team members."
Action Express Racing debuted in 2010 when team owner Bob Johnson formed a partnership with Brumos Racing, winning the Rolex 24 in the team's first start. This season the Denver, North Carolina-based team has also taken over last year's Brumos Daytona Prototype to expand to a two-car team with Donohue and Law piloting the No. 5, alongside Barbosa and Borcheller in the returning No. 9.
"We have added experienced personnel in key positions and worked very hard in the offseason to be as prepared as possible to defend our 2010 victory with a two car effort," Johnson said "We are much better prepared than we were last year and now we are looking forward to enjoying the race on the newly repaved track in Daytona."
The four full-time drivers will anchor the two cars in Daytona, with Papis, Fittipaldi and Rice providing the team with extra knowledge and experience of what it takes to win the 24-hour endurance race.
Papis has competed in the top tier of several forms of racing across the world, including Formula 1, CART, IndyCar, and NASCAR's three national touring series. He has competed in the Rolex Series in both the GT and DP classes since 2000, claiming the DP championship in 2004 with four wins and top 10s in all 12 races with teammate Scott Pruett. In 2002, Papis finished first overall in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in a Dallara-Judd for Doran Lista Racing. This season he will run the full NASCAR Truck Series schedule for Germain Racing.
Fittipaldi won the event - alongside Borcheller - with Bell Motorsports in 2004. After winning the Formula 3000 championship in 1991, Fittipaldi graduated to Formula 1 where he made 40 starts between 1992 and 1994. From Formula 1, Fittipaldi moved to CART where he made 135 starts between 1995 and 2002, winning two races. He later made a brief stint in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, starting in 16 races, including the 2003 Daytona 500.
Buddy Rice - most known for his 2004 Indianapolis 500 win - competed in IndyCar between 2002 and 2008, finishing third in the series standings in 2004 with 3 wins and 7 top 5s for Rahal Letterman Racing. In 2009, Rice won the Rolex 24 with Brumos Racing. He most recently drove full-time for the Spirit of Daytona in the DP class in 2010, helping the team return to the podium with a third place finish in the Six Hours At The Glen.
JC France and Burt Frisselle each bring six years of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series DP experience to the team. France was a regular for Brumos Racing between 2003 and 2009, earning back-to-back wins in 2003 with teammate Hurley Haywood. In 2009 he finished a career-best third in the Rolex 24 with current teammates Barbosa and Borcheller, along with Haywood.
Frisselle joined the DP ranks in 2004, earning a podium finish in his first ever start. He has since recorded numerous top 5 finishes, most recently for AIM Autosport. In 2010 he finished with eight top 5 finishes - seven for AIM Autosport - and a fifth place finish in the Rolex 24 with Michael Shank Racing.
Action Express Racing returns to the track this weekend for the annual Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 7-9, 2011.
Terry Borcheller - "We have learned a lot from this time last year, and are in a position to be contenders again for the (Rolex) 24. As the season progresses with a two-car team and the new personnel for 2011, we should be contenders in every race. I know this is everyone's goal."
Joao Barbosa - "I can't wait to start the new season. The team has been working very hard during the winter and I really believe we will be in great shape in 2011. Our goal for the No. 9 is to defend our 2010 Rolex 24 win. As the current champs we will be working hard to repeat the win."
Darren Law - "I am really looking forward to the 2011 season. I am excited to be joining Action Express and the new two-car program, and I am really confident going into the Daytona test session after our preliminary tests. The Porsche V-8 is really coming along in its development, we have new management and engineering on board and our driver line-up is solid. Having Buddy Rice, my teammate from the 2009 Daytona 24 hour win and Burt Frissell, a long time competitor, join David (Donohue) and I will make a great team. We have been working hard this winter to get ready for next season and I know all of our competitors are doing the same. The upcoming Daytona test will be a great gauge for everyone."
David Donohue - "I'm really looking forward to the Roar (Before the Rolex) and then, of course, the Rolex 24 itself. Our organization has been going through a lot of changes recently, but we've been building for this moment since about halfway through the 2010 season. I am excited about how things have progressed with the addition of Elton (Sawyer) and Iain (Watt) and everything else in the shop. We know how to win this race. Having Buddy (Rice) back is like old times since he was with us for the 2009 win, and having Burt (Frisselle) is a perfect fit too. He's got a lot of experience in this series, so we can come out of the box ready to race with all four drivers. It's nice going into this race without a weakness in the driver lineup."
Burt Frisselle - "I am thrilled to be joining Action Express Racing for this year's Rolex 24 hour race at Daytona. This race is extremely hard to win so to have the opportunity to drive for an organization that has proven they can do it is a dream come true. I am looking forward to working with all of the Action Express drivers as we all have a long history as competitors. I can't wait for the Roar Before The 24 to get to work on winning this year's race."
Max Papis - "I'm extremely excited to be on the new track with such a stellar lineup for my 22nd Rolex 24. My first ever race in a DP was for Bob Snodgrass and Brumos Racing at Mont-Tremblant in 2003, so to come back and race for what was once that team is a great feeling. It's funny that I finished second in this race last year and now I'm racing for the team that beat me."
Buddy Rice - "I'm excited to be back at the 24 Hours of Daytona with my 2008 winning team and driving with David (Donohue) and Darren (Law) again. Action Express, and formally Brumos Racing, has had great runs the last two years at the (Rolex) 24 and I'm looking forward to having a shot at winning it again."
Christian Fittipaldi - "I am very excited to race with the Action Express team, mainly because of their victory in the Daytona 24 Hours last year. I know most of the people working in this group and they are all extremely intelligent. The synergy of the group will be very good and we have good chance to win."
JC France - "I'm very excited to drive the winning car from last year and do it on the fresh pavement of Daytona"