Action Express went into Round 11 of the 12-race GRAND-AM Rolex Series season with some specific goals in mind. The team was focused on finding improvements for their #9 Porsche V-8 Riley and getting it back to a more competitive level. While Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was a new track for the Action Express entry, both #9 drivers have seen success at the track from years past. Terry Borcheller ended the 2007 inaugural Rolex Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the GT podium, and Joao Barbosa first competed there in 1997, more recently enjoying a strong run in 2008 as he brought home a 4th place finish for the Brumos #59 car.
The team went back to the drawing board at Montreal, starting with the basics and trying some changes in the setup of the car. Early practice sessions showed that progress had been made. As Terry Borcheller qualified the #9 in 6th place, the team knew they were moving in the right direction. Confidence was high and the results spoke for themselves, as early on in the race, the Action Express #9 was running in the top three. In a race marked by 4 full course cautions for 17 laps, the rate of attrition among the DPs was high. Borcheller steered clear of the many problems, fighting hard for position and running consistently in the top five. On the 3rd yellow, the car pitted with most of the field for a driver change, as Joao Barbosa took over to close out the race. The crew executed an efficient pit stop, the car coming in to the pits in 5th and getting back out without losing its position. Everything was proceeding according to plan, when without warning, a belt on the oil pump failed, resulting in a blown engine. The car stopped just shy of the pit entrance, its day ended, bringing out the final full course caution. The promising run ended with the #9 taking a 10th place finish.
Despite their disappointment, the drivers and team remained upbeat, encouraged by the progress made over the weekend. Terry Borcheller said, "We are getting our confidence back we made really good progress with the car here in Montreal. While the handling issue has not been totally resolved, it has definitely been a step in the right direction. The car is fun to drive again. Having a car that can be competitive makes everybody a lot happier and I am looking forward to seeing what we can do at Miller."
Joao Barbosa also voiced optimism. "This weekend in Montreal was a very positive race, even if we weren't able to finish. When we had the engine failure, we were in a solid 5th place, and that is the best we have been able to do in quite a while. There is still a lot or work to do if we are to go for wins once again, but I would say there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will regroup and see what else we can find for Miller we still want to end 2010 well and carry some momentum into the off season. We will be ready for 2011 and our next shot at another Rolex 24 win."
-source: action express racing