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Derani Joins Action Express For 2019 IMSA Season

Joins Nasr for all-Brazilian line-up in #31, 2016 Champion Curran steps back to Endurance role

Action Express have announced a new look crew for their #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 2019 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship.

Felipe Nasr will return as a full season driver for a second consecutive season but the Brazilian ex F1 man will be joined by a fellow countryman, and a newcomer to the team, Pipo Derani, the Daytona and Sebring winner for Tequila Patron ESM picked up for a full season effort.

2016 IMSA Champion Eric Curran remains with the team but will feature only in the Michelin Endurance Cup events at Daytona International Speedway, Sebring International Raceway, Watkins Glen International, and season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, this after four full seasons with Action Express.

Action Express will again feature a two car effort with the return duo of the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing DPi-V.R featuring the returning pairing of Joao Barbosa with Filipe Albuquerque for the full IMSA WeatherTech season.

Christian Fittipaldi will make his final start for Mustang Sampling at the Rolex 24 At Daytona as he steps away from racing at the IMSA Prototype level after eight years with the team.

“Having raced against the team, I am delighted to join Action Express Racing!” said Derani. “I have seen first hand how strong this group is. It is a championship-caliber team that consistently delivers. My goal is to fight for the IMSA championship, and so this is an amazing opportunity.”

(on Felipe Nasr): “We have known each other since karting in Brazil, so have followed each other for many years,” said Derani. “We both were in open wheel and then our careers took different turns so it is a cool story that now we are racing together as teammates. He’s a great driver and I’m looking forward to sharing some new success with him next year!”

“We are excited to have Pipo joining us next season as he’s tremendously capable and are looking forward to him being a part of our program,” said Action Express Racing Team Manager Gary Nelson. “We will continue to prepare to race for wins, and are fortunate to be working with the strong drivers that we have. Building on our relationships with them only adds to our ability to perform, so it is good to have consistency. Eric (Curran) has been an excellent asset and I’m pleased that we are able to continue with him for our endurance program next year, and hopefully the team can have a big result as Christian (Fittipaldi) makes his final run in the 24 with us.”