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Action Express Racing Holds on Late to Win the Rolex 24 at Daytona

January 26th, 2014 at 4:05 PM
By Mark Eddinger

The 52nd edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the inaugural race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship came down to the final lap to determine the overall winner after a caution came out with about 25 minutes remaining in the 24-hour endurance race. In the end it was the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corevette DP driven by Joao Barbosa that was able to hold off the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP driven by Max Angelelli.

'IMG_7943' photo (c) 2009, The359 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The winning margin was 1.461 seconds after 695 total laps of competition. The driving team of Barbosa, Sebastien Bourdais, and Christian Fittipaldi earned Action Express Racing its second Rolex 24 at Daytona victory with the first coming in 2010.

Angelelli was teaming with Jordan, Ricky, and Wayne Taylor to finish second. Finishing third, 19 seconds behind their team car, was another Prototype team the No. 9 Action Express Racing entry of Brian and Burt Frisselle, John Martin, and Fabien Giroix.

Porshe North America won the GT Le Mans class with the No. 911 with Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, and Richard Lietz. They finished sixth overall after completing 679 laps. They edged out the No. 55 driven by Joey Hand in the closing laps to take the class win.

In the Prototype Challenge class it was the No. 54 Oreca FLM09 of CORE autosport driven at the end by Colin Braun who was able to beat the No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry by one lap. Braun teamed with Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins, and James Gue to finish ninth overall.

Flying Lizard Motorsports won the GT Daytona class after a controversial call on the closing lap penalized the No. 555 Level 5 Motorsports entry driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi for avoidable contact. Guidi was penalized when the No. 45 Flying Lizard entry driven by Markus Winkelhock tried to pass at the kink but was driven off course.

After the penalty was assessed the team of Winkelhock, Spencer Pumpelly, Tim Pappas, and Nelson Canache were awarded the GTD class win and finished 18th overall.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona saw its first red flag period since 2004 about three hours into the race when an accident sent Memo Gidley and Matteo Malucelli to Halifax Medical Center. Gidley has reportedly undergone surgery on his left leg and arm and also will need surgery for an unstable fracture to his back. Malucelli's injuries are not considered serious.

The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Prototype entry which won last season finished 43rd after suffering an accident overnight which cost the team 30 laps and then retired with less than two hours remaining due to engine problems. The No. 02 team car was running fourth but retired in the final hour due to an issue with the car's floor.

Tags: Alessandro Pier Guidi, Christian Fittipaldi, Colin Braun, Flying Lizard Motorsports, Joao Barbosa, Markus Winkelhock, Matteo Malucelli, Max Angelelli, Memo Gidley, Motorsports, Rolex 24, Sebastien Bourdais

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