email@example.com As 2010's only back-to-back races brought the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series to the midpoint of its season, Action Express Racing hoped to recapture some of their Rolex 24 magic and find their way back to the podium.
As 2010's only back-to-back races brought the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series to the midpoint of its season, Action Express Racing hoped to recapture some of their Rolex 24 magic and find their way back to the podium. Following their Daytona race debut victory, the #9 Porsche V8 Riley has seen its share of disappointments, thus far unable to duplicate that early success. Heading in to a week with only four days between races, the team faced added challenges. Lime Rock Park, hosting their first DP competition, featured a sprint race on a short, fast track with heavy traffic. The Rolex Series then transitioned to a six hour endurance race on the familiar Watkins Glen track. While the Action Express drivers and team may have anticipated a better finish in the endurance format, the result was actually the opposite. They celebrated their best post-Rolex result of the season at Lime Rock with a 4th place finish. Watkins Glen proved a difficult race, but Action Express persevered, ending the day in the top ten despite repeated setbacks. The results of the two races enabled the #9 to move up to 7th place in team points standings.
The Lime Rock race was a one-day event, so practice time was limited and finding a strong set up for the short course proved difficult. With little time for adjustments, Terry Borcheller qualified the car in 12th place. The drivers and crew worked hard to find an advantage, as efficient pit stops along with good strategy began to pay off. Joao Barbosa, who put the #9 in the lead for eight laps, said, "We didn't have the fastest car, but the Action Express team tried hard to get us competitive and where we wanted to be. We decided to take a chance on strategy and it worked out really well. We saved an excellent 4th place and it is all a credit to our team." Borcheller acknowledged the progress the team made in the short time it had to make adjustments, saying, "I think during the race the car was the best it had been. We had some mechanical imbalance, but we had good strategy and we drove a smart race, and that gave us a good result."
With little time to celebrate their Lime Rock finish, the team set up at Watkins Glen following a day of travel to get a head start on preparing the car for the six hour race. Fortunately, the #9 left Lime Rock without serious damage, but struggles with set up continued. Joao Barbosa took a turn qualifying the car, putting it in 9th place for the start. Barbosa and Borcheller were joined by former teammate J.C. France for the race, as France made his driving debut with Action Express. Participating only in limited practice sessions, he still adapted quickly and drove a problem-free middle stint. Despite a series of mishaps over the course of the race, the drivers held on to finish in 10th place. As Terry Borcheller explained, "It was a very long day, and unfortunately, we just were not on the pace, which made it seem even longer. We were really unlucky with some of the yellows, although some of the others helped us out a bit. There were some problems in the pits that cost us some time, but we will just focus on finding improvements and look ahead to Mid-Ohio."