Lexington, Ohio (15 June 2013) – Preparation met opportunity on Saturday as Action Express Racing returned to victory lane with a win in the Diamond Cellar Classic as drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi brought the team its fifth GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
After a fraught battle for the lead that lasted for lap after lap, Barbosa took the point on lap 89 and didn’t look back, holding off the advances of the pursuing field to win by 1.49-seconds.
The sister No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Burt and Brian Frisselle finished the race in seventh after fighting back from a pair of setbacks that cost the brother duo a significant amount of track position. Burt was spun off track in the early laps, and then the car suffered two pit lane speeding penalties that were traced to a wheel speed sensor having gone bad. But the race-winning team pace was still on display as Brian carded the fastest lap of the race.
Christian Fittipaldi, Driver No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (finished 1st)
“We qualified decent and I was really happy with my stint and it was good to be putting the pressure on the guys in front. In the race, it all just connected. I had a strong first stint and then Joao just kept it on from there and he did an awesome job. And that was it, we came home P1. The team did a great job and the Corvette DP was just awesome. Getting to victory lane is so sweet--it is great to be back!”
Joao Barbosa, Driver No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (finished 1st)
“GRAND-AM is always like this--such tight competition. I knew I was faster than the leader but I had to also make sure to keep an eye on the guys behind me to make sure I didn’t get caught off guard. I was able to manage the traffic really well. Westbrook made it really difficult but it was hard clean racing and I am proud of the way we raced. I just hope we can continue going like this.”
Brian Frisselle, Driver No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (finished 7th)
“It is a shame with the result. But I am so proud of the team, getting the win with the five car. We’ve got two cars but it is one team. So to see them in the winner circle is great. Our car was awesome, but we got punted early on. Stuff happens and we just kept fighting back. I got two penalties, and that cost us a likely podium and some points. We’ll recover and come back stronger.”
Burt Frisselle, Driver No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (finished 7th)*
“It is awesome for the team to get the win. The nine car had the fastest lap of the race which shows the potential we had today with both cars. It was a shame to get hit by the two car early. But this is a great group of guys. Brian came from so far back and made up a lot of ground with how fast the car was. It was a great effort and I’m really happy for the guys, really lucky to be working with a group like this.”
Gary Nelson, Action Express Racing Team Manager
(you have a lot of big wins...how does this one compare to the others?)
“This one is right up there. We struggled with some unfortunate things that happened to us this year. Sometimes, when that is happening it seems like you can’t do anything right and you wonder when it is going to turn around. I’m glad we don’t have to wonder that anymore!”
Bob Johnson, Action Express Racing Team Owner
“Wow! That was a great, exciting race. I really enjoyed it. The whole team did a fantastic job, all of the guys. Hat’s off to Christian and Joao--this is just super!”
Action Express Racing