Corvette DPs at Sebring: podium finish for Action Express Racing

Three top-10 finishes in Corvette DP program’s first race at Sebring

Action Express Racing followed up a victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona with a third-place result in the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday. The No. 5 Corvette Daytona Prototype of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastian Bourdais finished less than 10 seconds behind the winning car.

The second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship saw both the Action Express entries – including the No. 9 of Burt Frisselle, Brian Frisselle and Jon Fogarty – and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli lead during the race.

#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Chevrolet: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sébastien Bourdais
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Chevrolet: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sébastien Bourdais

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Bourdais, who drove the final stint in the No. 5 Corvette DP, went around the Oak Racing Morgan entry for third shortly after the race’s final restart with 20 minutes remaining.

"Our Corvette DP teams put on a strong show in their first race at the Sebring 12 Hours," said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Program Manager for Corvette Daytona Prototypes. "Three of our five Corvette DPs finished in the top-10, and Action Express Racing continued its stellar start to the season. Chevrolet still leads the Prototype Engine Manufacturer's championship after two tough races. Next up is another new challenge for the Corvette DPs – the streets of Long Beach."

The next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship takes place on the Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit from April 11-12.

"Third place in Sebring is always a great achievement. We are leading the championship right now, which is a plus. It was a really tough race. Very competitive. A finish on the podium is always a great result here at Sebring."

"It was tough, but we managed the car very well. That was fun. Hats off to the Ganassi guys. They were in the right place at the right time. That made all the difference in the world. I want to thank Chevy. Our car ran flawless from the beginning to the end. We definitely had a shot at winning. Unfortunately it didn't happen. But we scored some points, so we will turn the page and go on to Long Beach."

"It was a tough race, but we gave it our best. We started from the front and stayed there for awhile. It looked like we had the pace and everything we needed to win the race. As things got a little more complicated, we lost the lead as everybody started to show their hand. At the end we just didn't have anything for these guys. I gave it my best the whole race, and we set some pretty fast laps. But at the end of the race, they just turned it up and I told them 'That's all I got'. On top of the fact that it was very much a game of track position because you couldn't pass anyone. It was closely matched. The No. 1 was in front of us, and the No. 01 cycled to the front and left the GTs in between us. By the time we crossed the start/finish line, the gap was six seconds... game over. It is a little disappointing because I was really hoping we could win. I've finished second here overall twice before. It is one of these deals where it didn't work out. But that is all I had. No regrets. That is all we had. That is the way it is."

"That was the toughest race I think we’ve ever had and to come out with seventh place probably doesn’t do justice to all the hard work everybody put into it. But it was just a matter of not being able to bounce back all the way from the few issues we had today – the early penalty, my having to go off with cars spinning and colliding in front of me in the middle of the race, and Ricky getting his windscreen oiled up and going off, which necessitated another pit stop toward the end of the race. All in all, I think we might have had a solid podium car, at best, despite all the things we had to deal with. But we brought it home in one piece both at Daytona and here at Sebring, and we’re still sitting second in the points, so we’ll head to the early sprint race part of the schedule and try to build some serious momentum."

"To win races like this, you have to be good, but you also have to have things go your way. Our car definitely was maybe a fourth-place car. With a little bit of luck maybe a podium finish. If I had to put my finger on one thing in particular, I think we underestimated the heat in the track and what it did to our car from a setup standpoint. That’s my opinion. This is a great race and we would have loved to have had a better result."

"There seemed to be no passing during that last run. I think it was because the pace was just so high and I think everybody was in the position they belonged in after racing for almost 12 hours. I feel really bad that we had to make an extra pit stop because of the oil (on the windscreen). I don’t know if anybody else had that problem out there. That was frustrating. But when I had a clean windshield, the car was the best it’d been all day at the end, there. Finishing seventh is kind of ho-hum when you look at it. It was a long race. I’m just happy we got through the middle because it was so difficult to keep the car on the track and stay out of trouble."

Team Chevy Racing

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Jon Fogarty , Wayne Taylor , Sébastien Bourdais , Max Angelelli , Joao Barbosa , Jordan Taylor , Burt Frisselle , Brian Frisselle , Ricky Taylor
Teams Action Express Racing , Wayne Taylor Racing
Article type Race report
Tags action express racing, christian fittipaldi, corvette dp, joao barbosa, jordan taylor, max angelelli, ricky taylor, sebastian bourdais, sebring