Action Express Racing has revealed the driver line-ups for its pair of Cadillac DPi-V.Rs that will contest the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar, which include two new full-season faces.
In the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, 2016 IMSA Champion Eric Curran will be joined by former Sauber F1 driver Felipe Nasr (above). Nasr takes the seat filled by Dane Cameron, who will race with Acura in Prototype in the upcoming season.
The 2018 Rolex 24 Hours will not be Nasr’s IMSA debut, the Brazilian has raced with Action Express twice before, at the 2012 Rolex 24 Hours after winning the Sunoco Challenge, and later at the same event in 2013.
IndyCar race winner and Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 driver Mike Conway will also return to the team, racing in the 2018 Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta rounds of the Patron North American Endurance Championship events.
The team’s other Cadillac, the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing machine, will see Joao Barbosa team up with current United Autosports ELMS driver Filipe Albuquerque (below) for the full season. Christian Fittipaldi, who has been racing with the team full time, will move into the endurance third seat for the NAEC rounds.
In addition to racing in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship, Fittipaldi has been appointed Sporting Director for Action Express Racing. The role will see him continue to contribute to the in-weekend technical evaluations to improve the car performance with long time engineer Iain Watt. Fittipaldi has already begun his new role as a key figure as a representative of the team, working with sponsors and manufacturer partner Cadillac.
“As a team, the 2017 IMSA season has been a solid one, but we are all working hard to make 2018 an even better year,” said Action Express Racing Team Manager Gary Nelson. “We are happy to have Eric (Curran) return in the Whelen Engineering Cadillac and to have Felipe (Nasr) come back to race with us for the full season.
“We have had the same driver line-up for the Mustang Sampling Cadillac for the last two years, and that consistency will be an advantage. Christian (Fittipaldi), Filipe (Albuquerque) and Joao (Barbosa) have all been racing with us but we are just changing the roles that each will have next year. Adding Tim (Keene) to the 31 side is also something that we are excited about and we are looking forward to his contributions to our team effort here at Action Express Racing.”
Tim Keene has also joined the team as Performance Coordinator, bringing decades of championship-winning experience in IMSA and IndyCar to the program. Keene has already moved into his position, calling the race for the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a strong run to second place.
Featured image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography