Action Express Racing Team Owner Bob Johnson says the teams’ debut at the Sebring 12 Hours was an “outstanding effort” after the Rolex 24 winners claimed third and eighth places.
The No.5 Corvette DP of Sebastien Bourdais, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipladi finished America’s oldest endurance race in third place after taking pole in the hands of Bourdais, but after brief periods in the race lead, a late race caution cost the team dear after it came out too early for the No.5 team who had been fuel saving.
“Just before that last caution we were feeling pretty good about our chances,” said Team Manager Gary Nelson. “We were running second and had been saving fuel for several hours. We had saved enough to go to the finish with one less stop than our competitors. That yellow would not have changed things for us had it come out one lap sooner or 3 laps later. It just hit at the worst time for us.
“When you don’t get the breaks and still finish on the podium it shows Action Express is a great team. We congratulate Chip Ganassi and his 01 team for their historic win.”
Meanwhile for the No.9 ‘Vette DP of Burt Frisselle, Brian Frisselle and Jon Fogarty things didn’t go quite to plan, with Brain Frisselle falling ill after an hour and 20 minutes, with IMSA medical staff declaring him unfit to drive for the rest of the race. That meant that Burt Frisselle and Fogarty had to triple-stint for the rest of the race, eventually finishing eighth after a clean run.
“It was a tough day. Obviously it’s disappointing that Brian wasn’t able to continue but we’re a team and Jon (Fogarty) and I just did what needed to be done,” said Burt Frisselle. “Triple stinting on a track like Sebring was very difficult but we ran a pretty good race. The team made no mistakes. The car was clean and running well.
“Action Express Racing put together a good car for us. It was really competitive out there so I’m happy to finish in the top-10 but we would have liked to be a little further up the order today.”
Johnson commented on the race as a whole, saying: “I thought it was an outstanding effort. This team just keeps going and going and going. They’ve proved it again, they work hard and they get results. I’m very, very happy with the result. We would like to have done better, obviously. But to have a podium finish here at Sebring, quite frankly, is a good result. So, not disappointed in that regard – this is a very tough race. I’m really happy for the guys, for the crew, for the drivers. Everybody just worked hard and got a good result.”
The next race for the team is the 100 minute race at Long Beach on April 12.