Christian Fittipaldi and Brian Frisselle scored their second top-10 result at the inaugural Grand-Am of the Americas.
The duo led 11 laps in the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP on their way to fifth place at the new Circuit of the Americas, granting them fifth place in the points standings after round 2 of the Grand-Am Rolex Series.
“It was a pretty interesting race.” said Fittipaldi. “The car was really oversteering through the whole race and I was just trying my very best. I’m definitely very happy with P5, I’m not upset at all. I think maybe our very best today would have been a P4. I had a small spin at the end and a car got by me. Maybe we could have finished ahead of them but if it wasn’t for that we definitely wouldn’t have finished in the top-three today. So I’m happy to finish where we did, take the points and improve in the next race.”
It was another story, however, for the #9 car of Burt Frisselle and Joao Barbosa. After a strong start from fourth on the grid, contact with another car forced Frisselle into the pits to repair the suspension of the Corvette DP.
“I thought he saw me alongside as we entered the turn,” said Frisselle of the contact, “apparently he didn’t and I did all I could to avoid contact but that put me on the inside curb and we made contact. He kind of had a wild track out and I just kept going and I guess he spun off the track and came back and hit me. I’m bummed because we had a good car.”
The pit crew rallied together and managed to return to action, but Barbosa could only manage a 14th place finish. Despite the poor finish, Barbosa managed to set the fastest lap of the race, a testament to the work in the pit lane.
“The Action Express guys did a great job getting the car back out so that both of us drivers could get points for the championship which is very important.” said Barbosa. “The car was great. It was really, really good. I’m sure we had the pace to fight for a podium position. The team has been working really hard and I believe I had the fastest race lap so that’s a plus and it just goes to show how good this team is going to be this year.”
Team owner Bob Johnson added “We had a bad break there with the No. 9 car but they fought back and they made up a couple positions there. And the No. 5 car held in there and fought back to fifth place so all in all it was good. We had most of the guys on the team working to repair the No. 9 car because that’s just what we do. We have two cars but we’re one team.”