Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa maintain that championship focus as the squad sits just five points out of the championship lead.
Denver, N.C. – When Action Express Racing entered the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the team’s goal was not only to win races, but also the championship title. The group got off to a strong start with a big win in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and now with just four races remaining, the North Carolina-based team and drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa maintain that championship focus as the squad sits just five points out of the championship lead.
Additionally, the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype remains the only car that has completed every race lap so far this year.
Action Express Racing visits the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard Grand Prix this week as the TUDOR Championship marks Round 8 of the season. It’s the third consecutive trip to the circuit for the team after having competed at Indy with a two-car effort in 2012 & 2013.
All four TUDOR Championship classes will be back together on track in Indianapolis and as always, traffic will be a factor. Action Express Racing aims to steer clear of any trouble and return to the podium once again. A win at the Brickyard is one that all on the team would treasure.
“We are really looking forward to Indy,” said Team Manager Gary Nelson. “It’s been a track that’s been in my dreams since I began watching races as a small boy. At one point the goal was just to get to Daytona and Indy just to see the tracks and feel the history and as I grew up and began my racing career my dreams changed to maybe get a trophy at Daytona and Indy. After some success at Daytona, I didn’t think an Indy trophy would ever be possible. And now we’re going there with a legitimate chance to be competitive and come out of there hopefully on the top step of the podium. I think we learned a lot at the Indianapolis test so we’re looking forward to it. We’ve been competitive in every race. We’ve been putting ourselves in good position until something unlucky has happened, but we’re getting the most that we can out of each event. We’re bringing good cars to the track, the pit stops are amazing and our drivers are doing one heck of a job. I’m just really looking forward to the rest of this season.”
In addition to the team’s previous two race outings at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Action Express also completed a successful test at the track with Barbosa last month. The data collected provides Action Express Racing with a strong notebook of information to build off of for this week’s two-day Brickyard Grand Prix race event.
“We’re expecting to win at Indy because that is always our team motto – expect to win,” offered Barbosa. “It’s not going to be easy because this championship is very competitive. But we had a very good test at the track. We have a very good car and team so I’m confident we can get back on the podium soon.”
The 2.439-mile, 14-turn track utilizes both the infield road course and oval section of the speedway with the cars circulating clockwise.
The famous Fittipaldi name has long been synonymous with racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a history that stretches back to 1983 when Christian’s uncle Emerson Fittipaldi first raced at Indy in the USAC Gold Crown Series. Christian Fittipaldi is a former Indianapolis 500 driver who took his best result in the prestigious open-wheel race in his 1995 debut when he finished runner-up, just 2.4-seconds behind the winner.
“I’m really excited about going back to Indy,” said Fittipaldi. “The team had a very good and productive test a few weeks ago. It was the same case as when we went to the Glen. A month and a half before the 6 Hour race, we went to the Glen and had a very good test. We managed to capitalize on our performance come race day and we finished third. Hopefully we can do the same thing at Indy.”
Action Express Racing rallied to a fourth place finish two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park when contact early in the race saw the No. 5 Corvette Daytona Prototype fall two laps down. The team was able to earn back both laps but with no yellow flag periods in the race, Action Express settled for fourth at the finish and maintained a strong hold in the championship.
The team will have a very busy and condensed schedule for the two-day Brickyard Grand Prix event. Thursday sees two practice sessions followed by an evening 15-minute qualifying session. Barbosa and Fittipaldi will also be on hand at the hauler parade from 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM Thursday evening to sign autographs and interact with fans. A 20-minute warm up takes place Friday afternoon with the green flag set to fly for the 2.75-hour race at 5:45 PM ET.
Qualifying will be video streamed LIVE on IMSA.com. The race will be televised on FOX Sports 1 LIVE beginning at 5:30 PM ET.
Action Express Racing