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From the Marbles

Joao Barbosa drives No. 5 Action Express car to Prototype win in Rolex 24

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

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Joao Barbosa pulled away from Max Angelelli in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing car after a late caution to win Sunday's Rolex 24 sports car race at Daytona International Speedway.

The yellow flag flew with approximately 20 minutes to go with Barbosa in the No. 5 Action Express car in the lead. After a 12 minute cleanup, the race went green with eight minutes to go and Angelelli had a shot to close in on Barbosa and make a run at the lead.

It didn't happen. Barbosa pulled away and scored Action Express's second win in the Rolex 24. The team won the Rolex 24 in its first-ever race in 2010.

Barbosa split time in the No. 5 with Christian Fittipaldi, Sebastien Bourdais and Burt Frisselle. The No. 10 was driven by Angelelli, Taylor, and Taylor's sons Ricky and Jordan.

Three Prototype cars finished on the lead lap. The race was the first under the Tudor United SportsCar Championship banner. The series is a unification of the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Series, which previously ran the Rolex 24.

Markus Winkelhock and the No. 45 Audi were initially declared the winners in the GTD class after a time penalty for avoidable contact was assessed to the No. 555 car and Alessandro Pier Guidi. But Pier Guidi didn't make contact with Winkelhock. The Audi was to the Ferrari's outside and as Pier Guidi moved towards the outside lane to get a better angle for the corner -- and perhaps push Winkelhock off the track -- the Audi went off into the grass.

Sunday evening, IMSA issued a statement saying that the penalty to the No. 555 had been overturned and the team would be declared the class winners.

"A full post-race review of the incident on the last lap of the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona was completed by IMSA Supervisory Officials, IMSA vice president for competition and technical regulations Scot Elkins said in a statement. "The decision has been made to reverse the decision by the race director, rescind the penalty against the No. 555 Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia team, and reinstate drivers Scott Tucker, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal and Alessandro Pier Giuidi as the GT Daytona class winners. We regret the confusion following the race, and appreciate the patience by our fans, drivers, teams and the media so we could properly review and subsequently report this decision."

Colin Braun drove the No. 54 car to the win in the PC Class. Patrick Pilet and the No. 911 Porsche won the GTLM class.

Sunday morning, IMSA, the sanctioning body for the TUSC, said that Memo Gidley suffered a broken back and had surgeries for injuries to his left arm and left leg after a very hard crash on Saturday afternoon. As he was passing another car in his No. 99 Prototype, Gidley slammed into Matteo Malucelli's slowing Ferrari. The race was red-flagged and both drivers were taken immediately to Halifax Health Medical Center. IMSA said that Malucelli was held overnight for observation and was resting comfortably.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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