Patrón Endurance Cup Standings Tight After Sebring
Consistency Puts No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Ahead In Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup Standings
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 21, 2014) – The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP team used speed and consistency to take the lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup Prototype (P) standings following last Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
The Patrón Endurance Cup is a prestigious endurance competition that rewards the top performing teams, manufacturers and drivers in the four longest races in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The Patrón Endurance Cup is worth $100,000 to the winners of the P and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes, and $50,000 to the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) teams. The unique competition awards points at different segments in each of the four races.
Action Express Racing’s No. 5 team capitalized on those segments in both the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring to claim the Patrón Endurance Cup P-class lead despite not winning either of the first two rounds. The No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR (GTLM), AIM Autosport’s No. 555 Ferrari 458 Italia (GTD) and CORE autosport’s No. 54 ORECA FLM09 also lead their respective classes through two events.
The No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost/Riley team won the second round of the Patrón Endurance Cup at Sebring last weekend. Drivers were awarded a limited edition bottle of Gran Patrón Platinum, while team owner Chip Ganassi took home a custom Paul Reed Smith guitar. The team earned the most points through the race’s three segments to move within one point, 23-22, of the leading No. 5 Action Express Racing entry. The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP won the opening Patrón Endurance Cup round at Daytona and sits two points back, 23-21, despite only scoring the minimum of two points in each segment at Sebring.
In GTLM, the Rolex 24-winning No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR holds a one-point lead, 23-22, over the No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R despite failing to receive more than the minimum two points in any of the three segments at Sebring. The No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR ran third in each of the first two segments at Sebring and parlayed its race victory into the Round 2 win, moving the team within two points, 23-21, of the class lead.
Running under a different team name, the No. 555 Ferrari 458 Italia leads the Patrón Endurance Cup standings in GTD with a second-place finish at Sebring under the AIM Autosport banner. It was the second consecutive round victory for the No. 555 team after winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona as Level 5 Motorsports. Twelve Hours of Sebring race winners Magnus Racing scored the maximum five points in the final segment in the No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America to close the deficit to 12 points, 30-18, behind the No. 555 team. The No. 45 Flying Lizard Audi R8 LMS also sits 12 points back after scoring the minimum two points in each segment at Sebring.
The No. 54 CORE autosport team is off to an impressive start in the PC class this season, sweeping the first two events at Daytona and Sebring while winning each of the first two rounds of the Patrón Endurance Cup. The team leads 8Star Motorsports’ No. 25 ORECA FLM09 by seven points, 31-24. After scoring the minimum eight points at Daytona, the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport team rebounded at Sebring and moves to third in the standings and 15 points out of the lead, 31-16.
Rolex 24-Winning Trio Leads P-Class Driver Standings
Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Corvette DP trio of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais hold a one-point advantage, 23-22, over a pair of IndyCar Series regulars in Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan from Chip Ganassi Racing to lead the Patrón Endurance Cup P-class standings after two events. Ganassi’s Sage Karam also sits one-point back after co-driving with Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Jamie McMurray in the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley at Daytona. Karam joined Dixon and Kanaan in the No. 02 at Sebring.
The GTLM driver standings mirror the team standings with No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR co-drivers Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy leading No. 4 Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin, Tommy Miler and Robin Liddell. The trio of Lietz, Pilet and Tandy won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona while teammates Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Michael Christensen earned victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR to move within two points, 23-21, of the Patrón Endurance Cup class lead.
Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler lead the GTD-class standings, winning each of the first two Patrón Endurance Cup rounds under different team names. The two joined Scott Tucker, Jeff Segal and Alessandro Pier Guidi in victory at Daytona in the No. 555 Ferrari 458 Italia of Level 5 Motorsports, and followed that up with a second-place finish in the Twelve Hours of Sebring with Segal and Maurizio Mediani with AIM Autosport. Bell and Sweedler lead Marco Seefried by nine points, 30-21. Seefried finished third in the Rolex 24 with Snow Racing and won at Sebring with Magnus Racing. Pier Guidi, Segal and Mediani are third in the Patrón Endurance Cup GTD standings, trailing Bell and Sweedler by 11 points, 30-19.
Led by two race victories and two Patrón Endurance Cup round wins to start the season, CORE autosport’s Colin Braun, Jon Bennett and James Gue lead 8Star Motorsports’ Michael Marsal and Tom Kimber-Smith by seven points, 31-24, in the PC-class driver standings. Martin Fuentes sits third, 11 points back, 31-20, after finishing third at Sebring for Starworks Motorsport.
Ford leads the Patrón Endurance Cup P-class manufacturer standings buoyed by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford EcoBoost/Rileys, which gave the manufacturer the lead at two of Sebring’s three segments and a second-place result in the other. Ford leads Chevrolet by one point, 29-28, and Honda by eight points, 29-21.
Porsche’s Daytona-Sebring sweep to start the season gives it the lead in the GTLM manufacturer standings over Chevrolet, 30-25, while SRT sits six points back, 30-24, with its pair of Viper GTS-R entries. Ferrari holds the top spot in GTD by seven points over Porsche, 32-25, and ten points over Audi, 32-22.
The Patrón Endurance Cup continues with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 29, and the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda on Oct. 4.
To view the completely Patrón Endurnace Cup standings CLICK HERE.