Action Express Racing‘s extensive work over the off-season was on display at the Roar Before the 24 test sessions, as the team took the fastest time across the three days at Daytona International Speedway.
Christian Fittipaldi‘s time of 1:38.630 seconds in the #5 Corvette DP, that he shares with Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais, during Friday’s opening session was strong enough to hold the top spot across all eight of the weekend’s sessions.
“It’s been a great test,” offered Team Owner Bob Johnson. “We feel great. I think we learned a lot every session and that is what we came to do. We wanted to learn a lot and get better and build on our endurance strategy and make sure all of the equipment is working as we want it to for the 24 hours. The speed is great, but that isn’t the main objective. We want to be there at the end of the 24 hours.”
Meanwhile, Action Express Racing and British-based Delta-ADR teamed up to take on the 24 hour event in the #9 Corvette DP, with Burt and Brian Friselle of Action Express sharing the car with Delta-ADR drivers Fabien Giroux, Stefan Johansson and John Martin.
“All in all this was a very good test,” said Martin. “We didn’t quite do the amount of laps we wanted just with the way it worked out and red flags. I didn’t have an opportunity until this morning to really have a decent run, but the morning went very well. Obviously this is a new car, new circuit and new team for me so there has been a lot to learn. It wasn’t until the last couple of laps that everything really clicked with the car and everything. But now I am really looking forward to coming back for the race.”
Both cars logged plenty of laps around the 3.56-mile ‘roval’ course over the weekend, with the weather ranging from cold and blustery on Friday to warm and sunny on Sunday, allowing teams to simulate the changing weather conditions that often plays a part in 24 hour races.
“We are really happy with the progress Action Express has made in the off-season and how we have switched over to ‘racing mode’,” added Team Manager Gary Nelson. “We got a chance to run a lot of different ideas and different setups. So now we will go home and put it all together and come back in a couple of weeks.”