Utah: Action Express Racing race report
Action Express Racing Closes out 2010 Season at Miller Action Express Racing, heading into the 12th and final round of their debut season, has certainly made their mark in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series this year. The ...
Action Express Racing Closes out 2010 Season at Miller
Action Express Racing, heading into the 12th and final round of their debut season, has certainly made their mark in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series this year. The #9 Porsche V8 Riley saw its share of ups and downs, but will be remembered by most as the 2010 Rolex 24 champions. Traveling to Miller Motorsports Park for the season finale, the team was focused on improvements for 2011 but still looking for a strong finish to their inaugural year.
To assist in the effort, Action Express recruited additional engineering help for the race, hoping to be more competitive than in recent races. Struggles in practice sessions reflected problem areas, but Terry Borcheller found improvements, putting the #9 in 9th place in qualifying. Borcheller turned in a solid opening stint, taking the car as high as 5th before coming in at the mandatory 45-minute mark to hand it over to Joao Barbosa. Barbosa delivered his usual strong performance, but when the #9 received a 20-second penalty for pitting out of sequence on a subsequent yellow, he was unable to regain the lost ground. The #9 ended the day with a 12th place finish.
Borcheller said, "We rolled off the truck with some issues, and that was the beginning of what turned out to be a pretty rough weekend. Our engineers did a good job and gave us the best car we had all weekend for the race. We didn't qualify really well because the car wasn't sorted yet, and some of the changes we were trying, we tried in qualifying. So we learned something, but we still lacked speed. I was able to put us in the top ten, so that was a positive. I hadn't had a lot of track time so I wasn't really comfortable with the car when the race started. It took part of my stint and some adjustments to the bars to really find improvement."
Barbosa also acknowledged the difficulties, saying, "I think we were running pretty well in the race. The team did a good job with the car - we didn't have any mechanical problems at all, and it ran the best it had all weekend so we definitely did make progress. I think we could have had a decent result had we not received that penalty. We are ready to work harder for next year and make the best of the off season, regroup, and perform at a higher level. Action Express doesn't want to be in the back, we want to be in the front, so the team will be focusing on a new direction. A lot of hard work has been put into this team, so next year we hope to be up front as we deserve. I think going to the new Continental tires will be good for Action Express because it will put all the teams back on a level playing field. Some teams had a lot of experience with the Pirelli tires, but things may not work the same for them with the new tires, so I think we can make up some of that ground to the other teams and have a better shot at a good season."
Borcheller also expressed optimism for 2011, saying "I think have learned, as a team, a tremendous amount. Over the winter there will be a lot of focus on the thought process, because you need to be completely on top of your game by the Daytona test. That test is not a starting point, you have to be in shape come Daytona, or you will be in trouble the rest of the year. The competition is too stiff and there are too many good teams and drivers you can't be working on major issues by then, you need to be fine tuning the little things or you are going to be in trouble."
Action Express will join the rest of the Rolex Series in getting their first look at the new Continental tires as they travel to VIR for two days of testing on October 19-20, 2010.
-source: action express