Action Express takes win at Daytona
João Barbosa, Sébastien Bourdais and Christian Fittipaldi triumphed at the 52nd Daytona Rolex 24 Hours, bringing to success the Action Express Racing Corvette DP in the first race of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship. Barbosa secured his second overall victory at Daytona in five years by just 1.4 seconds ahead of Max Angelelli (Wayne Taylor Racing) after a last safety car that caused a thrilling finish. The other Corvettes of Burt/Brian Frisselle-Giroix-Martin and Rockenfeller-Valiante-Westbrook finished third and fourth respectively.
Core Autosport Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz-Patrick Pilet-Nick Tandy claimed a clear win in the GT Le Mans class and a sixth overall place. The 458 GT Italia shared by Townsend Bell, Alessandro Pierguidi, Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler and Scott Tucker secured a post-race victory in the GTD class. The Level 5 Motorsport’s Ferrari was awarded a 75 second penalty for an for avoidable contact with the Markus Winkelhock’s Audi R8 LMS, but the decision was overturned. TV images did not show any contact between Pierguidi and Winkelhock…
The race featured 52 lead changes, 16 safety cars and one red flag for the horrific crash that happened at the end of the third hour involving Memo Gidley and Matteo Malucelli. Risi Competizione car, with Malucelli at the wheel, was heading for the side of the track with a technical problem, when it was hit full on by the Corvette of Gidley. The impact was very hard and both drivers were taken to nearby Halifax Hospital where Gidley underwent an operation on his left arm and leg, while Malucelli remained under observation and has been released on Monday morning. Gildley will need a further operation on back injuries.