Action Express Racing has announced the complete driver lineup for the team’s two entries in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team had announced the return of the four full-time drivers at Road America in August, and recently added Scott Pruett to the team for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Filipe Albuquerque will co-drive the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype at with two-time and defending series champions Christian Fittipaldi and João Barbosa at Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta. The Portuguese sports car driver turned his first laps in the team’s Corvette DP at the IMSA sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway November 17-18.
IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud will join Action Express Racing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the season finale at Petit Le Mans driving the red and white No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP with Dane Cameron and Eric Curran.
Also joining the Whelen Corvette DP lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be 2016 Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner Jonny Adam. The Scottish driver is an accomplished sports car driver throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, and added his name to the prestigious list of champions of the challenge: Derek Johnston, Ross Kaiser, Felipe Nasr, Ivan Bellarosa, Bradley Smith and Phil Keen.
As previously announced, Pruett will co-drive the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP at Daytona with two-time and defending series champions Christian Fittipaldi and João Barbosa. Following Daytona, Pruett will then join Dane Cameron and Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP for the Twelve Hours of Sebring.
While Action Express Racing is excited about their 2016 lineup, team manager Gary Nelson and team owner Bob Johnson reflected on the drivers who helped make 2014 and 2015 such a great success.
“Sébastien Bourdais is a world-class driver and his contributions to Action Express Racing over the last two years were amazing,” said team manager Gary Nelson. “He was a major part of our 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona victory and this year helped snap a 50 year winless streak for Chevrolet in the Twelve Hours of Sebring, and again in the win at Road Atlanta which lead to the championship in the TUDOR Championship and the North American Endurance Cup. We can’t thank Sébastien enough for his contributions over the last two years and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
“Max Papis was instrumental this season in helping us form a new full-time team,” said Johnson. “His leadership on and off the track helped take the Whelen guys from the new guys to the lead guys. Even when the situation looked bleak at Daytona and Sebring, Max was the leader who inspired the entire Whelen team to keep fighting.
“By the end of the season we had two cars in position to win the championship and that’s much attributed the efforts of both Max and Sébastien. I want to wish both guys the very best in whatever they do next, and they will always be an important part of the Action Express Racing family.”
Source. Kyle Zimmerman, Hi-Rev Racing