DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Action Express Racing with drivers Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Ryan Dalziel and Mike Rockenfeller captured the win at the 48th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.
The No. 9 Porsche Riley edged the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates by 52.303 seconds.
“When I came here, I have to say, I didn’t expect that we would be there at the end and especially not in the first spot,” Rockenfeller said.
The Action Express Racing victory was Porsche’s 22nd in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and their first back-to-back Porsche triumph since 1987.
The 755 laps turned by Action Express Racing on the 3.56-mile road course was the second most in the Rolex 24 and the margin of victory – 52.303 seconds – was the third closest finish in event history. In addition, there were 53 car lead changes, which is second most in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
With drivers Scott Pruett, Max Papis, Memo Rojas and Justin Wilson, the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley was attempting to win a fourth Rolex 24 in the last five years.
“I can’t say enough about the guys and my teammates,” Pruett said. “It was a tough 24-hour. We just had one little miscue. You can’t flower up. It’s heartbreaking. We’ve been up on top. That’s the way the Ganassi team rolls. If you’re not on top, it’s not where you want to be.”
The Rolex 24 was the first race for Action Express Racing, a new team that was formed in the offseason that shares technical and personnel with Brumos Racing, the overall winning team from last year’s Rolex 24.
“This is so much sweeter,” said Barbosa, who has won the Rolex 24 previously in the GT class.
The 48th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona marked the 37th and final start in the twice-around-the-clock challenge for sports car legend Hurley Haywood.
Prior to the race, Haywood, who owns a record five Rolex 24s, announced that this year’s Rolex 24 would be his last.
“We didn’t win but we had a good time and gave it our best effort,” said Haywood after climbing out of the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley for the final time. The No. 59 car finished 26th overall.
In the GT class, the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda and drivers Jonathan Bomarito, Nick Ham, David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay took top honors and eighth overall by a four-lap margin over the No. 67 TRG/Flying Lizards Porsche GT3 and drivers Jim Lowe, Eric Lux, Jim Pace, Tim Sugden and James Walker.
Patrick Dempsey, star of the ABC hit drama Grey’s Anatomy, made his third Rolex 24 in the GT class and finished 13th overall and sixth in the GT class with co-drivers Joe Foster and Charles Espenlaub.
Next up is the stock car portion of Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks 2010. Tickets for all Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14, are available on your web-enabled phone at mobile.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.