North American Endurance Cup points on the line
Action Express Racing leads the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (NAEC), and will look to build on that lead with another big performance in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen next week as the team pursues a third consecutive win at Watkins Glen International. The six hour race is one of the most highly anticipated on the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar circuit and Action Express Racing targets a “three-peat” winning performance at the historic road course, and is a strong contender for the victory.
The NAEC leaders hold 23 points in the four round championship-within-a-championship, with a 1-point advantage over the No. 01 entry and 2-points over the No. 10 Corvette DP squad.
An intense off-season of preparation paid dividends with a strong start to the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar era as the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa took victory in the Rolex 24 and then followed that up with a third place finish in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Heading to the famous upstate New York road course, Action Express Racing will push hard to take a third consecutive win in the 6 Hour.
For the fabled endurance event, Action Express Racing returns to a two-car line up. Burt and Brian Frisselle are joined by Jon Fogarty in the sister No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP and the two-car campaign will see the team work together in a joint effort to pursue three Watkins Glen wins in a row for Action Express.
The two-car team took a double podium finish of first and third at Daytona which well-positioned both teams in the NAEC. The No. 5 picked up 10 points with a third place result at Sebring which saw the team maintain its hold on the NAEC championship. The No. 9 collected 6 NAEC points at Sebring and travels to the Glen fifth in the NAEC standings.
In addition to the NAEC, Action Express Racing remains hot in the overall TUDOR Championship which gives the team even more ambition to take the “three-peat” win at the Glen. After a streak of podium results in the first three races of the season, followed by a fourth place result at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Fittipaldi and Barbosa led the TUDOR Championship to Detroit by a three-point margin.
A strong run for the win at Detroit ended with a punctured tire on the very last lap of the race. The flat tire came in what many believe was the most exciting battle of the 2014 season thus far as Barbosa challenged Ricky Taylor for the race lead during the final 20 minutes. With a perfectly executed “crossover move”, Barbosa overtook Taylor and became the leader in Turn 3 of the final lap. Unfortunately for the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, a flat tire took Barbosa out of contention for the win and he brought home a sixth place result.
Action Express Racing enters the Watkins Glen event second in the championship - just seven points out of the lead.
“With strong runs in each event through the first half of this season, we have been able to hold the momentum we earned at Daytona with our double podium finish,” said Team Manager Gary Nelson. “Our intentions are to come away from Watkins Glen with even stronger momentum to carry us into the second half of our racing season. There is no better way to do that than to stand on the podium again. This team has proven it knows how to wear down the competition both on the track and in the pits. I know we are still getting stronger with each event and I believe the second half of the season will give us a good chance to show everyone how ready we are.”
The championship will reach its half-way point at the half-way mark of the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen and the team would like nothing more than to return to the top of the standings with a third win in the classic race as the championship heats up through the second half of the season.