American-flagged LMP1 team DragonSpeed has announced that Pietro Fittipaldi, the winner of the final World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship last year, will sub for Dutchman Renger van der Zande in the team’s BR1 LMP1 at Spa and Fuji.
— DragonSpeed (@DragonSpeedLLC) March 5, 2018
This decision comes because van der Zande has two clashes with his full-season IMSA commitments with Spirit of Daytona in the Prototype class. He’ll miss the season opener at Spa because of the IMSA clash with Mid Ohio, and Fuji because of the date change announced by the WEC, which means there’s now a clash with the season-ender Petit Le Mans.
Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, will not be making his LMP1 debut as part of this deal. The Brazillian was awarded an LMP1 test in a Porsche 919 HYBRID at the end-of-season Rookie Test at Bahrain last year, as a prize for winning the V8 3.5 title.
He’ll race alongside full-season drivers Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley at both rounds.