Action Express takes Rolex 24 victory as reliability woes end Alonso's hopes


Ganassi scored his 200th victory as a team owner in all forms of motorsports today when one of his Ford GTs - the No. 67 shared by Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook - outlasted the other Ganassi entry to win the GT Le Mans class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance sports auto race.

The team of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon won and defeated their sister vehicle, which was the defending class champion.

Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi led Action Express' #5 Mustang Sampling Racing entry to victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Sunday night as Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso endured a tough sports vehicle racing debut.

The No. 11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 made history becoming the first Lamborghini to win a 24-hour class anywhere in the world.

Fellow New Zealander Earl Bamber finished 17th overall, sixth in the GTLM class, nine laps behind Dixon.

He will tell you that he wants to close out on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship or perhaps win another Le Mans down the road, but actually, Ganassi says he's content with the current complexion of Chip Ganassi Racing. "There's no thinking about just finishing or finishing second. Those kind of [historical] things, we'll have plenty of time to talk about it".

The race was extremely clean as only four full-course caution flags were waved. Fittipaldi, Albuquerque and Barbosa covered 808 laps - 2,876.48 miles - breaking the all-time mileage record of 2,760.960 set in 1982 by John Paul Sr., John Paul Jr. and Rolf Stommelen in a Porsche 935JLP-3.

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The laps completed mark broke the one established in 1992 by the Nissan R91 CP driven by Masahiro Hasemi, Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Toshio Suzuki and Anders Oloffson, whom completed 762 laps in 24 hours back in 1992.

Alonso has spoken of his desire to take a crack at the "Triple Crown" of motor-racing - winning the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans.

"Unfortunately we had too many issues that were out of our control", said Alfonso who was making his debut in the 24-hour endurance race. Although Penske remained atop the team pit stand for nearly the entire 24 hours, one of his cars was knocked out of contention for the victory when Helio Castroneves made contact with Felipe Nasr as Nasr fought to stay on the lead lap.

Wayne Taylor Racing had an unusual number of tire problems and retired right after daybreak.

"One year ago I left this point devastated, very sad", Albuquerque said.

The #5 Cadillac DPi spent the majority of the race fighting at the front of the field, standing firm as the rival pair of Acura-Penske cars and the sister #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac suffered reliability issues through a record distance race at Daytona International Speedway. Then we had a throttle issue and then again a brake issue. The others have to be addressed, Continental said. Albuquerque and Barbosa also have class victories on their racing résumés. Briscoe and Westbrook won the Rolex for the first times in their careers, but it is the third watch for Dixon. But here at Daytona or Le Mans, you only want to win. "While one race may have gotten away, we still have a lot of big ticket races to win this year, along with the championship".