Action Express Racing leads Chevrolet sweep at Sebring
SEBRING, Fla. (AP) Action Express Racing scored a dominant win in the Twelve Hours of Sebring, where the trio Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais lapped the field while giving Chevrolet just its second overall victory in 50 years.
Chevrolet, which last won America's oldest endurance race in 1965 with Jim Hall and Hap Sharp, actually swept the top three overall positions in Saturday's race. In all, Corvette's took four of the top five spots.
Barbosa and Fittipaldi are the reigning United SportsCar Championship Prototype champions. Bourdais, the IndyCar veteran, joins them for the IMSA endurance races.
Action Express surpassed the 10,000 consecutive miles of competition just prior to the race's halfway point, and remains the only team to have completed every lap in the series dating back to last season.
Wayne Taylor Racing finished second after a disappointing ending in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team had to pit from second for a late driver change at Daytona when it determined it was in danger of exceeding the allotted time Jordan Taylor could be behind the wheel. A week later, IMSA stripped the team of its third-place finish and dropped it to last in class when it calculated Taylor had surpassed the time limits.
The second-place finish was gratifying because Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli had to come back from early brake issues to earn the podium.
Richard Westbrook used a pass of Scott Dixon with less than 10 minutes remaining to give VisitFlorida.com Racing the final spot on the podium.
Dixon brought the Chip Ganassi Racing entry - the highest finishing Ford - home in fourth. The Ganassi entry won Sebring a year ago, but the trio of Dixon, Scott Pruett and Joey Hand battled handling issues most of the race.
Action Express Racing's second entry completed the top-five.
Krohn Racing, which had won the pole in the Ligier JS P2 Judd, finished sixth but was six laps behind the winner. It was the only P2 car to finish the race.
In Prototype Challenge, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports followed its Rolex 24 victory with another class win at Sebring.
Tom Kimber-Smith crossed the finish line 11.6 seconds ahead of defending class co-champion Colin Braun for CORE Autorsport.
The GT Le Mans class was won by Corvette Racing, as Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe added another victory to their Rolex 24 win.
Ian James, Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas drove the No. 23 Porsche 911 GT America home to the GTD win.
The GTD class came down to the final 20 minutes as Alex Job Racing lost the lead when Mario Farnbacher went off course with about 10 minutes to race. But the Dodge Viper SRT team that took over the top position gave it back five minutes later when the car was taken to pit road with an apparent engine problem.
Farnbacher moved back into first and held on to win for AJR and co-drivers Ian James and Alex Riberas.