CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Second Straight Win for Action Express Racing
Fuel strategy pays dividends again for Prototype championship leaders
•Three Corvette DPs in top-five at Road America
•Corvette Racing Corvette C7.Rs sixth, seventh in GTLM
•Chevrolet leaves Road America leading Prototype, GTLM manufacturer championships
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 10, 2014) – Action Express Racing played its strategy to perfection once again Sunday as Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi won the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America. It was the second straight victory in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for the No. 5 Corvette Daytona Prototype, and Barbosa and Fittipaldi increased their lead in the Prototype driver’s championship.
The victory was the first at Road America for the Corvette DP program and extended Chevrolet’s lead in the Prototype engine manufacturer championship.
Fittipaldi led the first 18 laps and Barbosa the final 15 as the lead cars made their final pit stops with 38 minutes remaining. Barbosa had pitted with a little more than an hour to go and benefitted from three caution periods in the race’s second half as Action Express Racing’s fuel and pit strategy worked just as it did in the last race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Congratulations to Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP team on the victory today,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Their win was special since it was the first at Road America for a Corvette DP team."
Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante were fourth for Spirit of Daytona Racing in the No. 90 Corvette DP after starting 48th. From the rear of the grid, Valiante made it up to fifth prior to the team’s first stop 59 minutes into the race.
Marsh Racing scored its best finish of the season with a fifth-place result for the No. 31 Corvette DP of Eric Curran and Burt Frisselle.
Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP led with 46 minutes to go but crashed under caution with 30 minutes left due to a steering component malfunction. He and Ricky Taylor finished 10th in class.
The next race for the Corvette DPs is the Lone Star Le Mans on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
Sixth, Seventh in GTLM for Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs
Corvette Racing’s two Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs placed sixth and seventh in a hectic GT Le Mans (GTLM) race. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen led the team’s charge in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette following at the finish.
The result was enough for Magnussen and Garcia to retain their lead in the GTLM driver’s championship, as did Chevrolet in the manufacturer standings and the No. 3 Corvette C7.R in the team championship.
Both Milner and Garcia were jostled around on the opening laps. An early stop for two tires and fuel was a strategic move but it was undone by a tire going down due to debris on Garcia’s No. 3 Corvette and a one-minute penalty call on Milner for leaving pitlane with the exit closed.
Things settled down in the middle part of the race with Gavin running as high as fifth before a late-race incident with another GTLM competitor moved him back down the order.
The next TUDOR Championship event for Corvette Racing is the Oak Tree Grand Prix on Sunday, Aug. 24 at Virginia International Raceway.
CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE QUOTES
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, NO. 5 ACTION EXPRESS RACING CORVETTE DP
“Definitely, back-to-back wins is awesome. I want to thank the team, Chevy and ECR Engines… what an effort by this whole group. We were suffering some brake problems early in the race, but we managed to fix it on the first stop. Joao drove two very strong stints that put us back up front again. We also had a small encounter with the No. 10 car, but it went the way it went. I don't know what to say. We can't be happier than this. We have to turn the page and move on to the next race, and just continue to do what we have been doing."
JOAO BARBOSA, NO. 5 ACTION EXPRESS RACING CORVETTE DP
"It was definitely when I got in the car for my last stint, the team said, ‘It is going to be really tight so save fuel as much as you can.’ That is what I was doing. Luckily we had the last few yellows that made us good to go until the end on fuel. The team said go full bore, go on whatever map you want, and go as fast as you want, so I had a blast at the end."
MICHAEL VALIANTE, NO. 90 SPIRIT OF DAYTONA RACING CORVETTE DP
“We just took a risk with the strategy and followed the No. 10 and the No. 01 on strategy, and in hindsight, that is what cost us the race. Had we stopped (earlier), we would have won. At the start, the main thing was to try and stay out of trouble and not lose too much time to the leaders. I was able to get through without any incidents and make up positions, and we came in to the pits in fifth so the race was going really well for us. But you win some, you lose some and it ended up we just didn't make the right call with the strategy. On to COTA.”
RICKY TAYLOR, NO. 10 WAYNE TAYLOR RACING CORVETTE DP
“It was good. We had a very good car. It was unfortunate with what happened with the No. 5. We both braked really late. I was committed and he was committed. Unfortunately we touched and it’s lucky we both didn’t go around.”
ERIC CURRAN, NO. 31 MARSH RACING CORVETTE DP
“I got a pretty good start and moved up from eighth to the top-five, and we were able to run in the top-five for a little bit. Those P2 cars, once they get rolling they have a lot of speed, and one of the P2 cars got by me. Then I had to follow the DeltaWing, which has some big straight-line speed and then holds you up in the corner. But this 31 Whelen Corvette was working really well. We still have some work to do. It’s the first season for us with the Corvette DP. There is some more time and speed to come from it.”
JIM LUTZ, CHEVROLET CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PROGRAM MANAGER
“It’s great to score our first victory with the Corvette DP at Road America. The engineering and strategy by the Action Express Racing team was perfect. The number of cautions and debris on the track throughout the race made things difficult. But all four of our Corvette DPs showed well throughout the day. It’s always good to leave a track holding a championship lead, and that’s what Chevrolet has managed to do in the Prototype engine manufacturer’s standings.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was quite a nightmare out there. The debris puncture on our tire put us out of sequence; we were already out of sequence a little bit. I found myself trying to defend even on new tires. The car was good but we were getting hammered out there.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was a very hectic and crazy race. We tried a gamble early by taking two tires. The second caution coming out soon after that hurt our chances, along with a piece of debris puncturing one of our tires. We scored the maximum amount of points that we could today, which was the goal. We will turn our focus to VIR now and hopefully be in better position to fight for a win and podium.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was another day that kind of summarizes our year. The call for two tires early was a good one but unfortunately the penalty pushed us back down the order. My stint started well and I could run pretty good lap times and stay with the cars directly in front of me. The incident with one of the Vipers ruined any chance we had for a good result. It’s a shame as the team did a fantastic job getting us up to fifth. But we will regroup and be ready for VIR and hope for a repeat of our 2012 victory.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was a pretty rough couple of laps at the start. Both the driver’s side and passenger’s side and the rear bumper and front bumper all had contact. In some places, I was trying to make room for myself around people who didn’t want to give me room. It’s how the racing is, trying to get around PC cars. The car wasn’t bad.”
Judy Kouba Dominick