Papis, Fittipaldi, Burt Frisselle Join Action Express Lineup
Action Express Racing announced today its two-car driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The defending race champions return to the scene of their historic first win with a stellar cast of drivers that includes seven former Rolex 24 overall race winners and two longtime GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 DP regulars.
Joao Barbosa and two-time overall Rolex 24 winner Terry Borcheller (2004, 2010) return in the No. 9 Porsche/Riley to defend their 2010 victory, joined by 2002 race winner and 2004 DP class champion Max Papis, 2004 race winner Christian Fittipaldi and JC France.
Team veterans David Donohue and Darren Law will lead the No. 5 Porsche Cayenne V8-powered Riley, along with 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice and series regular Burt Frisselle. The trio of Donohue, Law and Rice - along with Antonio Garcia of Spirit of Daytona Racing - teamed for the 2009 Rolex 24 victory for Brumos Racing.
Action Express Racing will look to make it two wins in a row and three consecutive wins for Porsche in America's prestigious endurance race on January 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. Porsche has more Rolex 24 overall race victories than any other manufacturer (22).
"Daytona has always been a special place for me," said team manager Gary Nelson. "This year I feel privileged to work with world class drivers and team members."
Action Express Racing debuted in 2010 when team owner Bob Johnson formed a partnership with Brumos Racing, winning the Rolex 24 in the team's first start. This season the Denver, North Carolina-based team has also taken over last year's Brumos Daytona Prototype to expand to a two-car team with Donohue and Law piloting the No. 5, alongside Barbosa and Borcheller in the returning No. 9.
"We have added experienced personnel in key positions and worked very hard in the offseason to be as prepared as possible to defend our 2010 victory with a two-car effort," Johnson said "We are much better prepared than we were last year and now we are looking forward to enjoying the race on the newly repaved track in Daytona."
The four full-time drivers will anchor the two cars in Daytona, with Papis, Fittipaldi and Rice providing the team with extra knowledge and experience of what it takes to win the 24-hour endurance race.
Papis has competed in the top tier of several forms of racing across the world, including Formula 1, CART, IndyCar, and NASCAR's three national touring series. He has competed in the Rolex Series in both the GT and DP classes since 2000, claiming the DP championship in 2004 with four wins and top 10s in all 12 races with teammate Scott Pruett. In 2002, Papis finished first overall in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in a Dallara-Judd for Doran Lista Racing. This season he will run the full NASCAR Truck Series schedule for Germain Racing.
Fittipaldi won the event - alongside Borcheller - with Bell Motorsports in 2004. After winning the Formula 3000 championship in 1991, Fittipaldi graduated to Formula 1 where he made 40 starts between 1992 and 1994. From Formula 1, Fittipaldi moved to CART where he made 135 starts between 1995 and 2002, winning two races. He later made a brief stint in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, starting in 16 races, including the 2003 Daytona 500.
Buddy Rice - most known for his 2004 Indianapolis 500 victory - competed in IndyCar between 2002 and 2008, finishing third in the series standings in 2004 with three victories and seven top-five finishes for Rahal Letterman Racing. Rice most recently drove full-time for the Spirit of Daytona in the DP class in 2010, helping the team return to the podium with a third place finish in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
JC France and Burt Frisselle each bring six years of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series DP experience to the team. France was a regular for Brumos Racing between 2003 and 2009, earning back-to-back victories in 2003 with teammate Hurley Haywood. In 2009 he finished a career-best third in the Rolex 24 with current teammates Barbosa and Borcheller, along with Haywood.
Frisselle joined the DP ranks in 2004, earning a podium finish in his first start. He has since recorded numerous top-five finishes, most recently for AIM Autosport. In 2010 he finished with eight top 5 finishes - seven for AIM Autosport - and a fifth place finish in the Rolex 24 with Michael Shank Racing.
Action Express Racing returns to the track this weekend for the annual Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 7-9, 2011.