Action Express Racing took on a new challenge this weekend in Texas as the two-car GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series effort traveled to Austin, Texas for the GRAND-AM of the Americas presented by GAINSCO and Total at the new Formula 1-grade Circuit...
Austin, Texas (3 March 2013) – The weekend saw the group show speed, teamwork, quick adaptation, and a lot of hard work in what proved to be a highly entertaining debut event for GRAND-AM. While the final results sheet didn’t fully reflect what the ambitions were for the weekend, both team entries had something positive to reflect on from the race weekend.
The No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP of Brian Frisselle and Christian Fittipaldi led 11 laps on the way to a hard-fought fifth-place finish. The effort marks the second top-10 finish for the duo, who now hold fifth in the provisional points standings after two rounds of Rolex Series competition.
The No. 9 Action Express Corvette DP of Burt Frisselle and Joao Barbosa started the race from fourth and ran strongly in the opening laps. Unfortunate contact with another machine caused significant damage to the No. 9 Corvette DP and forced Frisselle to the pits for repairs to the suspension of the car.
The same group that joined together and battled back in the Rolex 24 after sustaining damage, rallied to repair the No. 9 and return the car to race action. The effort not only saw the machine claw back some laps to the leader on the way to a 14th place class finish, but it was also rewarded as Barbosa carded the fastest lap of the race, a testament to not only his prowess but also to the team effort to return the car to race duty.
With a team that is working well together, and that effort showing tangible results with strong team performances, the Action Express Racing team is already looking forward to the next opportunity to compete in the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park (April 3-6).
Action Express Racing Quoteboard, GRAND-AM of the Americas:
Gary Nelson, Team Manager, Action Express Racing: “First I want to send congratulations to the 99 team. They won the pole and had a great race here at a great track. We're pretty disappointed that we couldn't be there to challenge them at the end. We know we had two fast cars and we got a break early on with the No. 5. We got in the pits before the yellow came out and got the lead for a while. But we didn’t get any breaks with the No. 9. We got tangled up with the car that we were racing, damaged the suspension but we’ll just come back to the next one stronger.”
Bob Johnson, Team Owner, Action Express Racing: “We had a bad break there with the No. 9 car but they fought back and they made up a couple positions there. And the No. 5 car held in there and fought back to fifth place so all in all it was good. We had most of the guys on the team working to repair the No. 9 car because that’s just what we do. We have two cars but we’re one team.”
Brian Frisselle, No. 5 Corvette DP: “The opening stint was pretty good. The car had a little bit of oversteer in it but overall I liked the car. We decided to save fuel while we were out there so I was just in fuel saving mode the whole time and I was still able to run with most of the lead pack and we were all battling and swapping positions. My number one job is to bring the car back to Christian (Fittipaldi) clean and he had a clean racecar and he was able to go out there and have a good race.”
Christian Fittipaldi, No. 5 Corvette DP: “It was a pretty interesting race. The car was really oversteering through the whole race and I was just trying my very best. I’m definitely very happy with P5, I’m not upset at all. I think maybe our very best today would have been a P4. I had a small spin at the end and a car got by me. Maybe we could have finished ahead of them but if it wasn’t for that we definitely wouldn’t have finished in the top-three today. So I’m happy to finish where we did, take the points and improve in the next race.”
Joao Barbosa, No. 9 Corvette DP: “We were involved in a race accident and we lost a ton of laps so we had to bring the car into the garage and fix the car. But the Action Express guys did a great job getting the car back out so that both of us drivers could get points for the championship which is very important. The car was great. It was really, really good. I’m sure we had the pace to fight for a podium position. The team has been working really hard and I believe I had the fastest race lap so that’s a plus and it just goes to show how good this team is going to be this year.”
Burt Frisselle, No. 9 Corvette DP: (regarding the early race contact) “I thought he saw me alongside as we entered the turn, apparently he didn't and I did all I could to avoid contact but that put me on the inside curb and we made contact. He kind of had a wild track out and I just kept going and I guess he spun off the track and came back and hit me. I’m bummed because we had a good car. My job is to give Joao the car in one piece and I didn’t do my job today because we didn’t. I’ll go back and look at the video and I’ll learn from it. In Rolex, it is always the same thing - we're all racing as hard as we can for a small space on the racetrack. We had a fast car today, unfortunately it’s not going to show in the result.”
Action Express Racing