Christian Fittipaldi ultimately took third on the grid in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with a time of 1:25.139-seconds.
Detroit, Mich. (30 May 2014) – Christian Fittipaldi put on a thrilling show through the streets of Belle Isle Park on Friday when the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship took to the track for qualifying around the concrete wall-lined 2.35-mile street circuit. The highly competitive prototype field saw several different drivers jump to the top of the charts throughout the session. Fittipaldi ultimately took third on the grid in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with a time of 1:25.139-seconds, just a scant .128-seconds off of the pole time.
Fittipaldi, who shares the Coyote-based Chevrolet DP machine with João Barbosa, appeared to be well on his way to a front row starting spot as he posted laps among the top-three throughout the entire 15-minute session in front of Chevy’s home town crowd. As he pushed the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP to the limit in search of a couple precious tenths of a second, the car just barely clipped the wall which bent the rear-wing end plate and hindered the handling of the car in the closing stages of the session.
Despite the small hiccup, Fittipaldi still managed to wheel the car to a solid starting spot for tomorrow’s 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic sprint event which is set to go green at 12:10 PM ET.
“I thought we were on the way to the pole but unfortunately we got caught right at the very end,” said Fittipaldi of the qualifying run. “It was very tight. The whole Action Express Racing Chevy team did a great job. The car was good ever since the first lap when I sat in it this morning for practice. I’m very optimistic for the race. I think we have a very solid car for tomorrow. I think the competition will be very tough but we’ll try our very best and capitalize on what we have.”
The TUDOR Championship grid had just two practice sessions on Friday ahead of the qualifying session and Fittipaldi and Barbosa showed strong pace immediately off the trailer. The No. 5 Action Express Racing machine posted the second quickest time of the first practice and the fifth fastest time of the second.
“We are very encouraged,” offered Team Manager Gary Nelson. “The car was very good. The lap times were coming down for everybody throughout the qualifying run. We were fighting for first with a couple of other cars and then right when the track got the fastest, our wing got damaged and took away some of the perfection of our car. We ended up third and we’re happy with that.”
The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic goes green Saturday at 12:10 PM ET. The race will be televised on FOX Sports 1 at 1:30 PM ET and can be followed LIVE on MRN Radio (www.mrn.com) and with timing and scoring at scoring.imsa.com.
Fittipaldi and Barbosa will have a busy morning prior to the start of the race as the pair will take part in the United SportsCar Championship autograph session in the IMSA Fan Zone at 9:45 AM ET following a 20-minute morning warm up which begins at 8:00 am ET.
Action Express Racing