Team Records One-Two Finish at Watkins Glen
DENVER, NC (July 4, 2016) – The Action Express Racing team recorded a one-two finish in Sunday (July 3) afternoon’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship race.
João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi crossed the finish line first in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling/Hazlitt’s Cider Tree Corvette DP in the six hour endurance test at the Watkins Glen International 3.4-mile, 11-turn permanent road course. Action Express Racing teammates Dane Cameron and Eric Curran guided the No. 31 Whelen Corvette DP to a runner-up result at the New York track. Barbosa and Fittipaldi finished 0.709 seconds ahead of their teammates.
It marks the first win of the 2016 IMSA season for Action Express Racing, as well as the third win for the team – and Barbosa – at Watkins Glen. Barbosa previously picked up the checkered flag at Watkins Glen with Darren Law (2012) and with Fittipaldi (2013).
“This was probably one of the fastest pace races that I’ve done in a while,” said Barbosa, after the race. “The track really suits this kind of racing. They did an amazing job with the (repave of the) surface. We were able to keep up the pace for a long time. This team has been working really hard to get a win, and we did it in great style. We were really matched with our teammates in the No. 31, so track position was really important. When I got out in clean air, I felt like I had an edge on the No. 31 and then just had to maintain the gap. It was a great day for Action Express Racing.”
Barbosa and Fittipaldi combined to lead more than half the race (107 of 197 laps), including the final 22 laps around the Watkins Glen circuit.
“It was definitely a strong race for us from lap one,” said Fittipaldi. “We drove on the limit the whole time. A big part of the reason for our success here was pure race craft — we were perfect on the pit stops and we were really good in traffic. I’m very proud and very happy to be a part of this win. It feels really great because this is the first race of the second part of the season and we couldn’t have started any better. If you’re looking to go for the championship — you have to be strong everywhere you go.”
The victory moved Barbosa and Fittipaldi into the top spot in the Prototype championship point standings as they seek a third consecutive title. In addition, the pair are now in sole possession of first-place in the Patron North American Endurance Cup standings.
The No. 31 entry of Curran and Cameron earned their fourth podium finish in six races this season.
“Overall, it was a good day,” said Curran. “We finished one-two – although we would have liked to reverse it. We started out with a tough situation in qualifying and didn’t get the car right. But we fought back and got the car right in the race. The car was a great piece for the whole six hours, and our guys did a great job on the pit stops. It was down to the wire and Dane did a great job holding off the 60 car in the end that was coming strong.”
It marks the third time that Action Express Racing has registered a one-two finish.
“It was certainly a great day for Action Express, since it’s our goal to be one-two every single weekend,” Cameron said. “It’s a little disappointing to be on the back end of that. They were able to jump ahead of us in the pits near the end and we had our hands full with the No. 60 car. It’s nice to finish one-two and I’m happy to play a part in it.”
The victory at Watkins Glen was the 14th career win for Action Express Racing since the team was formed in 2010. The team has captured back-to-back IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championships (2014 and 2015), as well as consecutive Patron North America Endurance Cup championships (2014 and 2015).
The next event on the IMSA calendar is Sunday (July 10) at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The race is scheduled to start at 11:05 a.m. (ET) and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.