No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Team Uses Strategy To Extend Lead In Patrón Endurance Cup Standings With One Race Remaining

No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Team Uses Strategy To Extend Lead

In Patrón Endurance Cup Standings With One Race Remaining

· Corvette Racing, SRT Motorsports, Porsche North America In GTLM Contention
· GTD, PC Leaders Looking At Clinch Scenarios After Strong Performances At WGI

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA (July 2, 2014) – If you were to poll teams and drivers before the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona about what it would take to win the inaugural Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup you would have heard some common themes: speed, skill, luck.

Through three races and 42 hours of intense TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition, teams are adding an additional variable to get a leg up in the grueling four-race competition: strategy.

The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP team did just that in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, short-pitting in order to lead at the three-hour segment (earning the maximum five bonus points) in a race that saw the team and its drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi extend their lead to five points, 31-26, over the No. 9 Action Express Racing team and brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle, despite finishing the race in third position.

Scoring the minimum of two points in each of the two segments at Watkins Glen, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP – six points back – and No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost/Riley – seven points back – fell to third and fourth in the Patrón Endurance Cup standings, while the race-winning Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP team moved up to fifth, 31-23.

Chevrolet has finished in the top two in seven of the nine segments to date to lead the manufacturer standings, 38-34, over Ford. The No. 5 Corvette DP won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Sahlen’s Six Hours, while the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost won the second leg of the Patrón Endurance Cup, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

At the season-ending Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on Oct. 4, competitors will earn points at four hours, eight hours and the finish. Points are awarded on a 5-4-3-2 basis with each finisher fourth on back receiving the minimum two points.

Six Teams Separated By Three Points In GTLM

The No. 3 Corvette Racing team and drivers Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen needed to do something at Watkins Glen to recover from early problems in both the Rolex 24 and Twelve Hours of Sebring. They did just that leading both segments in GT Le Mans (GTLM) to move within one point, 28-27, of the team’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R entry.

That entry – driven by Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner – was second at the end of the first segment, taking the Patrón Endurance Cup lead in both the team and driver standings despite earning the minimum two points at the finish. The No. 4 Corvette Racing duo took advantage of struggles from the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR team and co-drivers Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy who entered the race with a one-point lead and exited in a tie for second, one point back.

SRT Motorsports’ No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R entry is well within striking distance in fourth two points back, 28-26, while the team’s No. 93 entry is tied with Porsche North America’s No. 912 entry in fifth three points back, 28-25.

Porsche maintains a one point lead over Chevrolet in the GTLM manufacturer standings, 36-35, with one race remaining. Porsche dominated the first two Patrón Endurance Cup events winning at both Daytona and Sebring to start the season.

AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Continues Success In GTD

For the first time this season, the No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia team did not lead at the checkered flag in a Patrón Endurance Cup event. Regardless, running third at the end of the first segment and second at the finish, the team and co-drivers Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell now hold a 14-point lead, 37-23, over the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America team and co-drivers Andy Lally and John Potter.

The No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS of Nelson Canache Jr. is third, 37-22, but AIM Autosport and its co-drivers can clinch the Patrón Endurance Cup simply by starting the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda and earning the minimum six points. The maximum number of points a team and driver can earn at Road Atlanta is 15 points.

AIM Autosport’s success has Ferrari at the top of the GTD manufacturer standings, 39-30, over Porsche. Between AIM Autosport and the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, a Ferrari has finished in the top two in all but one segment this season.

CORE autosport Stays Perfect In Prototype Challenge

The trio of Colin Braun, Jon Bennett and James Gue has been dominant in the three Patrón Endurance Cup events to date, leading at the finish in all three races and in six of the nine segments. That gives the drivers of the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 and the team a healthy 10-point lead, 38-28, over the No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry and driver Tom Kimber-Smith.

If CORE autosport starts the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda and scores the minimum six points, they too will clinch the Patrón Endurance Cup. A win, however, would give the team what would amount to as a “grand slam” with victories in the TUDOR Championship’s four endurance races.

Drivers of the four class-winning teams at Watkins Glen earned a limited edition bottle of Gran Patrón Platinum, while the team owners took home a custom Paul Reed Smith guitar.

The Patrón Endurance Cup is worth $100,000 to the winners of the P and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes, and $50,000 to the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) teams.

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management

317.908.2975 (m)

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