ACTION EXPRESS RACING SCORES ONE PODIUM AND A FOURTH PLACE IN A SOGGY SAHLEN’S SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 28, 2015) – Action Express Racing battled the weather and treacherous track conditions, earning a third and fourth place finish in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Christian Fittipaldi took the Green Flag from the pole position in the Mustang Sampling Cider Tree Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype and led the majority of the first hour of the event. When the first full course yellow was displayed near the thirty-minute mark, Fittipaldi pitted while teammate Dane Cameron remained on track.
Cameron, who restarted the race in second position would run into trouble at the 49-minute mark of the event when he made contact with a prototype challenge competitor, resulting in a flat left rear tire. Cameron was able to get the car back to the attention of his crew, but the team would face an uphill battle in less than ideal track conditions for the remainder of the day.
“We were lucky to get back to the pits after that one,” said Cameron. “The wheel was bent pretty bad, and it certainly did some damage and put us in a hole for the rest of the day. The team did a great job on our Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP though to keep us in the race, and come away with a fourth place finish on a day that could have been much worse.”
While trouble found the Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP, the Mustang Sampling Cider Tree Corvette DP with Fittipaldi at the wheel was able to work back to the front and be in position to contend for the lead as the race drew near the halfway mark and the valuable five points in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup battle.
When João Barbosa took the reigns of the Mustang Sampling Cider Tree Corvette in third position and he quickly worked his way back to the second position and began a pursuit of the No. 10 Corvette DP. Barbosa did not claim the lead until the final lap before the halfway points were awarded.
“Christian did a good job through the first part of the race,” said Barbosa. “The team put us on a little different strategy, but it paid off and we were able to get past the 10 car just before the halfway points were awarded.”
Scoring the halfway points and finishing third would net the duo eight points on the day in the NAEC standings, enough to win the third race of the four race endurance championship.
“It’s great to win a round in the NAEC, and we’ve put ourselves in a good position for Road Atlanta at the end of the year,” said Fittipaldi. “We are both disappointed to not win the race, but when you look at the big picture it was a good day and we’ll hope to get back on the top-step of the podium in Canada.
“Our guys brought another great Corvette DP to the track this week. It was great to have Cider Tree with us, and thanks to Mustang Sampling and Chevrolet for everything this year and we’re going to try to get them a few more wins before the end of the year.”
For the teammates in the Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP the day wasn’t what they had hoped for, but it was still a solid day and kept the No. 31 in solid championship contention.
“Overall it was an okay day,” said Curran. “We were able to soldier on after Dane had his early dust up with a prototype challenge car. The damage really set us back and it was tough, especially with the wet conditions to battle back today. The Action Express guys work hard to give us fast cars and we had one this weekend it was just a bit of bad luck that found us and spoiled what could have been a podium day. We’ll take the points and go to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with the same ‘Expect to Win’ attitude that we always have.”
For teammate Max Papis the day wasn’t what he was hoping for in his return to the No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP, but with the speed the car showed throughout the week he’s optimistic for his next drive at Road Atlanta in the series finale.
“It was a long race, we were able to endure and finish fourth after some serious contact and a fair amount of damage from the early race incident. To come away with a fourth place speaks volumes to how good this race team is, but it is still disappointing to not have a chance to fight for the podium with all the speed the car had throughout the weekend. I’m already excited for Petit Le Mans and driving with these two guys again.”
With the third place finish, the Mustang Sampling Cider Tree Corvette DP moves to second in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, five points out of first place, while the Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP is third, trailing by 15 points as the series moves to the seventh event of the 10 race season.
In addition to the third place finish, the Mustang Sampling Cider Tree Corvette DP, driven by Barbosa and Fittipaldi, continued their consecutive mileage streak dating back to the inception of the TUDOR era, now at 11,800 miles.