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UNITED SPORTSCAR NEWS 

Christian Fittipaldi, Action Express top USC Daytona 24 Hours test

Action Express, Daytona USC test January 2014

The Corvette DP of Action Express Racing driven by Christian Fittipaldi set the quickest lap on the first day of the three-day test for the Daytona 24 Hours.

Fittipaldi turned a lap of 1m38.630s in the morning session in near freezing, windy conditions.

In the first official test for the United SportsCar Championship's merged format, the quickest LMP2 car was just over a second off the pace as Extreme Speed's HPD ARX-03b went fifth overall with a 1m40.006s.

Both varieties of prototype were below the track qualifying record of 1m40.099s set during the Grand-Am's DP era.

IMSA officials confirmed the three-day test would be used to make one final Balance of Performance adjustment with weight and air restrictors prior to the Daytona race.

"It was interesting to see a bunch of different cars at different speeds," Fittipaldi of the new four-class USC format. "We've been used to racing just two classes here."

Colin Braun drove CORE Autosport's entry to the quickest lap in the spec Prototype Challenge class with a 1m42.468s.

TANDY TOPS GT PACK

CORE Porsche, Daytona USC test January 2014

CORE was also quickest in GT LM, where Nick Tandy set a 1m45.564s in the team's factory-backed Porsche. It was the 991 model's first official appearance in the US after a season in the World Endurance Championship.

"It's been a very good day," said Tandy. "We have done a number of laps and worked through a lot of things.

"It's nice to be at the top of the time charts. We're probably ahead on development when compared to the other teams as a result of the car being raced in the WEC last year."

The Corvette of Oliver Gavin was next quickest at 1m45.743s.

Flying Lizard led in GT Daytona with its Audi R8 LMS in the hands of Spencer Pumpelly, who lapped in 1m47.981s.

Leading combined Friday times:

Pos  Drivers                               Team/Car                       Time
 1.  Bourdais/Fittipaldi/Barbosa           Action Express Corvette DP     1m38.630s
 2.  Westbrook/Valiante/Rockenfeller       Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP  1m38.898s
 3.  Gurney/Fogarty/Law/Gidley             Bob Stallings Corvette DP      1m39.286s
 4.  Taylor/Angelelli/Taylor/Taylor        Wayne Taylor Corvette DP       1m39.410s
 5.  Sharp/Dalziel/Brabham                 Extreme Speed HPD LMP2         1m40.006s
 6.  Pruett/Rojas/McMurray/Karam           Ganassi Riley-Ford DP          1m40.039s
 7.  Frisselle x2/Giroix/Johansson/Martin  Action Express Corvette DP     1m40.096s
 8.  Dixon/Kanaan/Franchitti/Larson        Ganassi Riley-Ford DP          1m40.248s
 9.  Pla/Russinov                          OAK Morgan-Nissan LMP2         1m40.527s
10.  Curran/Said/Papis                     Marsh Corvette DP              1m40.735s
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