(FAR LEFT, clockwise) ;
Action Express ran a
The No. 5 (pictured)
finished fourth in
team points, but the
No. 9 took two wins;
How on earth did
GAINSCO not win a
race in 2012? Weird!
There was no debut win at the Rolex 24
at Daytona (unless you count winning a
race against the clock to be there). But
a win at Barber’s round 2 for Spirit of
Daytona kicked off 8 wins in the next 12.
BACK WITH A BANG
GRAND-AM ROLEX SERIES
No ’Vette team was consistent enough
for the teams’ title, but their cumulative
efforts secured Chevrolet its title.
424 389 382
R. D. Ethan/LAT
Points system: A manufacturer
receives points for its highest finishing
car. A win is 35pts, then 32-30-28, etc.
(ABOVE) Max Angelelli
and Ricky Taylor (left)
times for Sun Trust,
including the Lime
Rock finale. (LEFT) The
Dallara shows off its
elegant new lines.
change the car and basically everything
under the body remained the same.”
“In the end, it was a good strategy call
to go with Corvette. I think we did a really
good job considering where we were at
the beginning of the season.”
For Action Express, the only two-car
Corvette squad, the learning curve was
much steeper, as the Gary Nelson-led
organization switched chassis and engine
manufacturers in addition to having the
new Pratt & Miller-designed bodywork.
“I had to adapt my driving style a little
bit, but it was a big challenge for the whole
team,” says Joao Barbosa, driver of the
No. 9 Corvette DP. “All of the experience
we had was on the Riley. It was like starting
with a new piece of paper. We were learning
everything and didn’t have any data that
matched what we had on the Corvette.”
Having started the year with Terry
Borcheller as his co-driver, a reshuffle saw
Barbosa paired with Darren Law from the
“It was key for us to get the
first win. That is the one that
stands out the most to me”
Three teams took wins in the Corvette
DP’s debut season – Spirit of Daytona
( 3), Sun Trust Racing ( 3) and Action
Express (2, both for the No. 9 entry).
fifth round at Detroit’s Belle Isle. It was
there where the duo broke through to
give AXR and Chevy a crucial win and 1-2
sweep in its own backyard. Three races
later, they were back in Victory Lane at
the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Despite the early success, development
on the Corvette DP wasn’t standing still.
Following the Rolex 24, Pratt & Miller came
out with two additional front splitter designs,
which helped achieve an improved aero
balance, according to Ben Johnson, Pratt
& Miller’s Grand-Am program manager.
“As you saw by the end of the year, we
were really strong on the high-downforce
circuits,” Westbrook says. “That’s not to
The Lime Rock finale, and win No. 3 for Sun Trust.