Action Express Racing headed into Round 9 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season hoping that New Jersey Motorsports Park would be the turning point that would see the end of their recent streak of misfortune. As has been the case in...
Action Express Racing headed into Round 9 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season hoping that New Jersey Motorsports Park would be the turning point that would see the end of their recent streak of misfortune. As has been the case in several of the last races, finding a workable setup for the #9 Porsche V8 Riley proved elusive. Problems with handling persisted at NJMP, as evidenced by the #9's lap times in pre-race practice sessions. The team is working hard to find the missing piece of the puzzle in hopes of regaining some late season momentum.
Terry Borcheller continued in his role as starting driver after qualifying the #9 in 11th position. Unfortunately, the team's hopes for a comeback were dashed early, as a brake failure put Borcheller into the back of the Spirit of Daytona #90 car on the 13th lap of the race. Borcheller made his way back to the pits for what proved a lengthy process as the team scrambled to isolate the problem and make necessary repairs.
As Borcheller explained, "This was a hard weekend for everyone. In the race, I was trying to keep the #90 behind me, but at the same time I was watching tire wear, because I knew I could run the tires off pretty quickly in those conditions. I got trapped behind a GT car and went to pass them before the front straightaway. I thought I could get to them before the apex and then the #90 started to turn in. Trying to avoid contact, I went over the curb, probably a little too much, and that gave the Spirit of Daytona car a run on us. He got by me, and then going into Turn One I just couldn't stop and ran into him. If I hadn't hit him and slowed, I don't know where I would have gone. I thought at first it was kickback from going over the curb, and when I was approaching him and realized I couldn't stop, I tried to pump the brakes. Then I thought maybe I had the brakes locked, because I still wasn't stopping. That was all I had time to think of before I hit him. It was just really so unfortunate for both of our teams."
The lengthy pit stop following that incident put the #9 car down several laps, but the crew got the car repaired and back on track to finish the race. Joao Barbosa drove a strong stint, but with little chance to gain ground, he brought the car back in later in the race for a driver change, allowing Borcheller to gain some extra seat time. Action Express ended the day 20 laps down, taking an 11th place finish.
Joao Barbosa was ready to look beyond the disappointment, saying, "We still have three races to go, and Action Express is better than the results of our last few races indicate. This was a tough weekend, but the great thing about our team is that we are already looking ahead and ready to put these last few races behind us. We will do our best to get back in winning form to finish the season like we did for Brumos last year, with a victory."