A Successful Roar in the Rear View
Daytona Beach, FL, January 12, 2015– The 2015 Roar Before the 24 is in the rear view mirror for Action Express Racing as the team returns to North Carolina to make their final preparations for the 53rd Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The three days of testing provided valuable track time for both teams from Action Express Racing to make final adjustments and improvements ahead of the 2015 season opener. When the team unloaded on Thursday afternoon the agenda was set, through the hard work of everyone on the No. 5 Action Express Racing and No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP’s, the test was a resounding success.
“We came in with very specific objectives,” said Gary Nelson, team manager. “The Rolex 24 at Daytona is about speed and reliability and we feel that we have what it takes to repeat as champions of the western hemisphere’s most prestigious sports car race. We’ll return to North Carolina and review all our data and be ready to hit the track on January 22.”
Action Express Racing topped the speed chart in three of the seven sessions they participated in during the three-day test. However, that speed doesn’t translate into guaranteed success as Nelson knows.
“The success of 2014 wasn’t easy,” said Nelson. “This season the competition is going to be even more intense so we have to be ready to elevate our game and I believe our team is up to that test.”
The 2015 IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship begins with the 53rd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona January 22-25, 2015. Action Express Racing will enter the event as the defending champions with their sights set on a third overall victory in six attempts.
João Barbosa, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
“I feel that the test went well. We followed our program that we had established and feel confident in what we have. There are never enough days for testing to prepare for a 24 hour race, but I feel like we got a lot accomplished in just a couple days and the car is looking really good.”
Christian Fittipaldi, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
“The Roar is always a great opportunity to get back in the car together with João and Sébastien. The three of us are so similar in what we like in the car that we can give our team consistent feedback and that translates to being more prepared for the Rolex 24. We had a great year last year, but this is 2015 and the new challenges await us.”
Sébastien Bourdais, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
“We improved over the three days for sure. You are never fast enough, but at the end of the test we were moving in the right direction and we should be ready for the Rolex 24. The competition is definitely going to be stronger this year so we will have to stay on our game if we want to repeat as Rolex 24 champions.”
Eric Curran, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP
“Overall the test went really well. We learned a lot, which is great because it’s a new program with Action Express Racing for all the drivers and even some of the crew guys. There are a lot of puzzle pieces that are just starting to mesh together and that was critical being the first weekend that we’ve all spent together as a team. All the drivers showed good speed and consistency in the Whelen Engineering Corvette and I think we will be in good shape going into the Rolex 24 in a couple weeks.”
“I think Dane brings a lot to the team here at Action Express Racing. Last year with Turner Motorsports he showed what it takes to be a champion. He’s had some experience in a prototype in 2013 and I have a year under my belt from last year, so with our experience it should be a good combination competing for the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in 2015. So far we are working well on and off the track, we like a lot of the same things in the car so it should be a great year for Action Express and Whelen Engineering with our No. 31 Corvette.”
Dane Cameron, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP
“The test has gone really well, it is a great opportunity because the schedule for the Rolex 24 is so restrictive with track time. This test was important to get everyone comfortable in the car because when we come back none of us are going to get a lot of time in the car leading up to the race. I think we are there, we’re prepared, we have a great car and everything is pointing in the right direction.”
Max Papis, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP
“We worked for three days to become a cohesive team and we did a good job. The guys are all getting along well and I am excited to get back to Daytona in a few days to race. Next time it will be game time and I feel like our Whelen Engineering guys are ready for it.”
Phil Keen, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP
“It has been a really good experience driving the Whelen Corvette. This is really my first experience driving with cars that are much slower. So now it’s just about getting ready for the race. My teammates have been very helpful, especially Max Papis. He has been very helpful because he has been here and his experience really helps connect the dots on what to expect. I can’t wait to return for the Rolex 24 to be quite honest.”