Defending winners Action Express Racing have named their driving line-up for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with a nine man squad to crew the team's two Porsche powered Daytona Prototypes.
The nine drivers, between them can claim seven wins in the historic endurance at the Florida Superspeedway, as well as numerous seasons of Grand-Am competition
Only two men from the victorious 2010 crew return to defend their title Joao Barbosa and Terry Borcheller coming back to the no.9 car for a second year, with Italian Max Papis – a Daytona winner in 2002 – Christian Fittipaldi and JC France – the grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France a former Grand-am regular with Brumos Racing.
“I can't wait to start the new season,” enthused Barbosa. “The team has been working very hard during the winter and I really believe we will be in great shape in 2011. Our goal for the no.9 is to defend our 2010 Rolex 24 win. As the current champs we will be working hard to repeat the win.”
If having two defending champions in your team wasn't enough the second Porsche/Riley will be shared by a line-up that includes three-quarters of the team that won the race in 2009 for Brumos Racing – also in a Porsche powered Riley chassis.
Darren Law, Buddy Rice and David Donahue – who won the race with Antonio Garcia – will be joined by Burt Frisselle in the no.5 car.
“I am excited to be joining Action Express and the new two-car program, and I am really confident going into the Daytona test session after our preliminary tests. The Porsche V8 is really coming along in its development, we have new management and engineering on board and our driver line-up is solid,” said Darren Law.
“Having Buddy Rice, my teammate from the 2009 Daytona 24 hour win and Burt Frissell, a long time competitor, join David [Donohue] and I will make a great team. We have been working hard this winter to get ready for next season and I know all of our competitors are doing the same. The upcoming Daytona test will be a great gauge for everyone.”
The line-up marks an impressive start to just the team's second season – Action Express Racing only being formed before the 2010 Rolex 24 with team owner Bob Johnson starting a partnership with Brumos Racing. That partnership – along with Brumos opting to enter the GT ranks for 2011 – has allowed Action Express to expand to the two car squad that will tackle Daytona at the end of January.
“We have added experienced personnel in key positions and worked very hard in the offseason to be as prepared as possible to defend our 2010 victory with a two car effort,” Johnson said. “We are much better prepared than we were last year and now we are looking forward to enjoying the race on the newly repaved track in Daytona,” he added, ominously for his rivals.
The team will test on the track – repaved after the pothole problems at last year's Daytona 500 – in the 'Roar Before The 24 Test' this weekend (January 7-9).