TudoR uNITEd spoRTscaR champIoNshIp 2014
than AXR’s NASCAR-bred leadership.
“Gary Nelson and Elton Sawyer really put
an amazing plan together,” says four-time
Champ Car champ Sebastien Bourdais, who
joined AXR for the endurance events
alongside eventual Prototype Drivers’
Champions Joao Barbosa and Christian
Fittipaldi. “They know their stuff, they build
their own car, and they control what they
do quite well. That’s number one.
“Second is the consistency. They
executed all year. They were the first to put
a car on track built to the new regulations,
they had a strong baseline and, after that,
all they had to do was unload their car and
they were competitive week in, week out.
The rest of the team did their jobs incredibly
well, too. There were no big mistakes.”
Nelson brings decades of stock car
experience to AXR’s program, and also
looks after Coyote Cars, the championship-
winning Daytona Prototype constructor
whose Corvette DP propelled AXR to its
title. Along with NASCAR veteran Sawyer,
their approach to conquering America’s
top sports car category could be described
as unique – a preference for steak and
potatoes in a wine and cheese paddock.
“I believe we began the season more
prepared and were able to hold that
momentum to the end,” says Nelson, who
cherishes simplicity. “We weren’t always
fastest, but we held true to what we know.
In football terms, we just take the ball and
run up the middle. We didn’t have any
gadget plays or any ‘Hail Mary’ passes.
“Our pit strategy was the same; our pit
stops were like clockwork; our drivers
were fast and smart, and it takes discipline
to pull those things off. Other teams might
take more risks to get results, but we just
ran it up the middle, over and over again.”
2014 TUDOR UNITED SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP – PROTOTYPE CLASS aT a GLaNcE
FINAL DRIVER POINTS
Pushed hardest by 2013 Daytona Prototype champs Wayne Taylor
Racing, AXR sealed the deal with second at the Petit Le Mans finale.
HOW THE TITLE WAS WON…
AXR and WTR swapped the points lead through the early races. Back-to-back
wins at Indy and Elkhart Lake finally gave the former a little breathing space.
ACTION EXPRESS RACING EXECu TED ITS GAMEPlAN TO PERFECTION, Bu T THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT WASN’T A ClOSE-RuN THING.
P DRIVER(S) TEAM POINTS
1 Joao Barbosa/ Action Express Racing 349pts
2 Jordan Taylor/ Wayne Taylor Racing 330
3 Michael Valiante/ Spirit of Daytona Racing 318
4 Scott Pruett Telmex Chip Ganassi Racing 317
5 Gustavo Yacaman* OAK Racing 287
Pre-season, Action Express Racing had
targeted big points at the four NAEC races,
and duly delivered on the plan, winning at
the Rolex 24 and earning podiums at
Sebring, Watkins Glen (MAIN) and Petit
Le Mans. (ABOVE RIGHT) AXR’s pit crew
was a major factor in its 2014 success;
ditto, Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa
getting the most from the car at every race.
*highest finishing P2 driver