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UNITED SPORTSCAR NEWS 

Daytona 24 Hours: Action Express' Fittipaldi, Barbosa, Bourdais win

Action Express wins 2014 Daytona 24 Hours

Action Express Racing came out on top in a three-way Chevrolet-powered fight to claim a second Daytona 24 Hours victory with Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais.

Barbosa secured victory aboard the lead Action Express Coyote-Chevrolet Corvette DP by just 1.4 seconds after a eight-minute dash to the flag following the 16th and final safety car of the race.

The Portuguese, whose car was afflicted by gear-selection problems for much of the second half of the event, was able to pull away from Max Angelelli in the Wayne Taylor Racing Dallara-Chevrolet Corvette DP over the final five laps to reprise his and the team's 2010 victory at Daytona.

"I had a good cushion, but I was hitting traffic at the wrong time," said Barbosa.

"I didn't want to see the safety car, because I was struggling with the gears."

Bourdais added: "You couldn't help thinking what is going to go wrong from here. It was a relief to see the chequered flag."

Angelelli and his team-mates, brothers Jordan and Ricky and father Wayne, finished 18s up on the second Action Express entry in third place.

Brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle, John Martin and Fabien Giroix were in the mix throughout the race despite gear selection problems that raised their head early on.

Gidley injured in massive Daytona crash

Daytona Prototype machinery blocked out the top four positions in the first race of the United SportsCar Championship, with fourth place going to the Spirit of Daytona Coyote-Chevrolet shared by Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller.

Top LMP2 prototype was the Muscle Milk/Pickett Racing ORECA-Nissan 03, which finished fifth in the hands of Klaus Graf, Lucas Luhr and Alex Brundle.

Chip Ganassi Racing failed to get either of its Riley-Ford DPs to the finish: the #01 car in which Scott Pruett was bidding for a record sixth Daytona victory stopped with engine problems with two hours to go, while the sister car retired in the final hour when running fourth in the hands of Scott Dixon.

CORE PORSCHE WINS GTLM

CORE Porsche, Daytona 24 Hours 2014

Porsche took GT Le Mans class honours with its factory CORE Autosport 911 RSR shared by Nick Tandy, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet.

The car finished just 2.8s ahead of the best of the works Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW Z4s driven by Andy Priaulx, Bill Auberlen, Maxime Martin and Joey Hand.

The late-race yellow allowed the BMW to mount a last-gasp challenge, but Hand was unable to get on terms with Pilet over the dash to the flag.

The winning Porsche was involved in a frenetic battle with the sole-surviving Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in the hands of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Robin Liddell heading into the closing stages.

A transmission problems for the Corvette resulted in a long stop for a new gearbox, which dropped the car to a distant fifth.

Chrysler's pair of SRT Viper GTS-Rs led much of the first third of the race, before dropping back with problems.

It eventually claimed third place with the car shared by Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher and Ryan Hunter-Reay, which was delayed during the night with a power-steering system leak.

Honours in the one-make Prototype Challenge class for the ORECA-Chevrolet FLM09 went to the CORE team and Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins and James Gue.

CONTROVERSIAL GTD FINISH

Flying Lizard Audi, Daytona 24 Hours 2014

Audi took victory in the GT Daytona class, despite the winning Flying Lizards Audi R8 LMS finishing second on the track to the best of the Level 5 team's pair of Ferrari 458 Italias.

Alessandro Pier Guidi took the flag 1.2s ahead of Markus Winkelhock in the Ferrari, but was awarded a time penalty for an incident on the final lap.

Winkelhock made a bid for the lead in the infield kink but ended up going off the track as the Italian squeezed him on the exit.

Pier Guidi, who shared the Ferrari with Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Scott Tucker, was penalised for "avoidable contact" even though there was clearly no contact.

UPDATE: Level 5 penalty overturned

That gave victory to Winkelhock, Tim Pappas, Nelson Canache and Spencer Pumpelly.

Results - 695 laps:

Pos  Cl     Drivers                               Team/Car                         Time/Gap
 1.  P      Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais           Action Express Corvette DP  24h00m34.760s
 2.  P      Taylor/Angelelli/Taylor/Taylor        Taylor Corvette DP                +1.461s
 3.  P      Frisselle/Frisselle/Martin/Giroix     Action Express Corvette DP       +19.489s
 4.  P      Westbrook/Valiante/Rockenfeller       Spirit Corvette DP                +2 laps
 5.  P      Graf/Luhr/Brundle                     Pickett ORECA-Nissan              +3 laps
 6.  GTLM   Tandy/Lietz/Pilet                     CORE Porsche                     +16 laps
 7.  GTLM   Auberlen/Priaulx/Hand                 RLL BMW                          +16 laps
 8.  P      Pla/Rusinov/Yacaman/Webb              OAK Morgan-Nissan                +17 laps
 9.  PC     Bennett/Gue/Braun/Wilkins             CORE FLM                         +17 laps
10.  PC     Potolicchio/Kimber-Smith/Marsal/Huff  8Star FLM                        +18 laps
11.  P      Brown/van Overbeek/Pagenaud           Extreme Speed HPD                +19 laps
12.  GTLM   Farnbacher/Goossens/Hunter-Reay       SRT Viper                        +20 laps
13.  PC     Ostella/Matos/Drissi/Casagrande       Performance Tech FLM             +26 laps
14.  GTLM   Muller/Edwards/Rahal                  RLL BMW                          +27 laps
15.  P      Dixon/Kanaan/Franchitti/Larson        Ganassi Riley-Ford               +28 laps*
16.  GTLM   Gavin/Milner/Liddell                  Corvette                         +29 laps
17.  PC     Montecalvo/Jeannette/Cheng            PR1/Mathiasen FLM                +33 laps*
18.  GTD    Canache/Pumpelly/Pappas               Flying Lizard Audi               +33 laps
19.  GTD    Snow/Heylen/Seefried                  Snow Porsche                     +33 laps
20.  GTD    Rotenberg/Zlobin/Mediani              SMP/ESM Ferrari                  +33 laps
21.  GTD    Tucker/Sweedler/Bell                  Level 5 Ferrari                  +33 laps
22.  GTD    Neiman/von Moltke/Latif/Albuquerque   Flying Lizard Audi               +34 laps
23.  GTD    Tucker/LaMarra/Borcheller             Level 5 Ferrari                  +34 laps
24.  PC     Schultis/Lux/van der Zande/Bird       Starworks FLM                    +36 laps
25.  GTD    Cameron/Dalla Lana/Farfus             Turner BMW                       +36 laps
26.  GTD    MacNeil/Keen/van Gisbergen            Alex Job Porsche                 +39 laps
27.  GTLM   Bell/Bomarito/Wittmer                 SRT Viper                        +42 laps
28.  GTD    Cisneros/Giermaziak/Nielsen           NGT Porsche                      +43 laps
29.  GTD    Longo/Serra/Negrao/Gomes              Corsa Ferrari                    +46 laps
30.  GTD    Balzan/Westphal/Vilander              Corsa Ferrari                    +48 laps
31.  GTD    Potter/Lally/Henzler/Dumolin          Magnus Porsche                   +50 laps
32.  GTD    Lindsey/Estre/De Phillippi            Park Place Porsche               +50 laps
33.  GTD    Randall/Farano/Wilden                 Corsa Ferrari                    +50 laps
34.  GTD    James/Farnbacher/Holzer               Alex Job Porsche                 +56 laps
35.  P      DeFoor/Pace/Beck/Hinton               Highway Riley-BMW                +64 laps*
36.  GTD    Miller/Rast/Haase/Bell                Miller Audi                      +69 laps
37.  GTLM   Krohn/Jonsson/Bertolini               Krohn Ferrari                    +70 laps
38.  GTD    Griffin/Cioci/Rugolo/Gerber           Spirit of Race Ferrari           +75 laps
39.  GTD    Perazzini/Roda/Ruberti                Spirit of Race Ferrari           +77 laps
40.  GTD    Keating/Bleekemolen/Collard           Riley SRT Viper                  +80 laps
41.  P      Curran/Said/Smith/Papis               Marsh Corvette DP                +82 laps
42.  PC     Popow/Fuentes/Tutumlu                 Starworks FLM                    +83 laps*
43.  P      Pruett/Rojas/McMurray/Karam           Ganassi Riley-Ford               +85 laps*
44.  GTLM   Mucke/Turner/Lamy/Stanaway            Aston Martin                     +85 laps
45.  GTD    Taggart/Gewirtz/Kvamme                Muehlner Porsche                 +92 laps
46.  GTD    Engelhart/Ineichen/Bachler            Dempsey Porsche                  +94 laps*
47.  P      Pew/Negri/Allmendinger/Wilson         Shank Riley-Ford                 +96 laps
48.  GTD    Block/Carter/Davis/Davison            TRG Aston Martin                +115 laps
49.  GTD    Norman/Stanton/Siedler                Park Place Porsche              +129 laps
50.  GTD    Foster/Dempsey/Davis/Lieb             Dempsey Porsche                 +129 laps
51.  GTD    Faulkner/Huisman/Faieta               GB Porsche                      +135 laps
52.  GTD    Lockie/McIntosh/Nimkoff               TRG Aston Martin                +179 laps
53.  GTD    Amos/Bamber/Blum/Imperatori           Muehlner Porsche                +203 laps*
54.  GTLM   Long/Christensen/Bergmeister          CORE Porsche                    +206 laps*
55.  PC     Rayhall/Kovacic/Bielefield            BAR1 FLM                        +235 laps

* Not running at finish

Retirements:

     P      Miller/Nunez/Vautier                  Speedsource Mazda                445 laps
     P      Tremblay/Long/Hinchcliffe             Speedsource Mazda                369 laps
     PC     Cumming/Tagliani/Mitchell/Daly        RSR FLM                          361 laps
     P      Sharp/Dalziel/Brabham                 Extreme Speed HPD                359 laps
     GTLM   Magnussen/Garcia/Briscoe              Corvette                         329 laps
     P      Meyrick/Legge/Rossi/Chaves            DeltaWing                        288 laps
     P      Mayer/Popow/Hartley/Viso              Starworks Riley-BMW              238 laps
     PC     Ende/Junqueira/Hansson/Menezes        RSR FLM                          177 laps
     GTD    Welch/Sofronas/Stippler               GMG Audi                         151 laps
     P      Gurney/Fogarty/Gidley                 Stallings Corvette DP             92 laps
     GTLM   Malucelli/Fisichella/Bruni            Risi Ferrari                      88 laps
     GTD    Putman/Espenlaub/Jarvis               Fall-Line Audi                     5 laps
Daytona Competition
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