1 February 2010
Action Express Racing stun with Rolex 24 win
Action Express Racing wins Rolex 24 At Daytona in first-ever Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race; SpeedSource scores second Rolex 24 victory in three years in Rolex Series GT class.
David took on the Goliaths and won Sunday's 48th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. In a race marked by unusual weather, heavy attrition and a record number of lead changes, Joao Barbosa held off Scott Pruett by 52.303 seconds to win the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race in the #9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley.
It was the second consecutive runner-up finish in the race for Pruett, a three-time Rolex 24 winner who teamed with Memo Rojas, Max Papis and Justin Wilson in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #01 TELMEX/Target BMW Riley, a team that won three of the last five Rolex 24 races.
Scott Tucker, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Richard Westbrook and Lucas Luhr finished third, four laps behind in the #95 Crown Royal/NPN BMW Riley. A jammed seat belt early Sunday morning - resulting from a piece of tape - cost the team two laps, taking them out of the fight.
Ricardo Zonta, Tracy Krohn, Nic JÃ¶nsson and Colin Braun finished fourth in the #75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola, followed by Ozz Negri, John Pew, Burt Frisselle and Mark Wilkins in the #60 Crown Royal XR Ford Riley.
Sylvain Tremblay, Jonathan Bomarito, Nick Ham and David Haskell won the GT race by four laps in SpeedSource's #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8.
The race started under caution Saturday due to a deluge that soaked the track during the two hours prior to the start. While the rain quickly let up, conditions remained treacherous for several hours due to damp conditions, particularly off the racing line. Sunday's portion was run under dry but very chilly and windy conditions.
It was Barbosa's second consecutive victory in Rolex Series Daytona Prototype competition; he and Hurley Haywood won the 2009 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Brumos Porsche. Barbosa led a race-high 129 laps; the four Action Express Racing drivers combined to lead 316 of the 755 circuits.
"It's just unbelievable," Barbosa said. "For the team to perform under really difficult circumstances like 24 hours, they did an amazing job."
For Borcheller, it was his third class victory in the Rolex 24 and first overall: "It's really special," Borcheller said. "'04 was amazing, just because the way the race ended up in the last 15 minutes with us winning when Tony Stewart driving the Crawford broke. But that was also the first year I believe that a Daytona Prototype won overall. So the competition was - it's always there, but it was nothing like it is now."
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