Versatile Portuguese star and Audi Le Mans racer replaces Sebastien Bourdais as AX Racing’s third man.
Just a day after Action Express Racing confirmed it had signed five-time Rolex 24 Hours winner Scott Pruett for his tilt at a record-breaking sixth Daytona win, Filipe Albuquerque has declared that he too will race for the North Carolina-based sportscar squad.
Albuquerque, who tested impressively for the team this month at Daytona, will join AX Racing's season-long WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and reigning champions Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Albuquerque thus replaces Bourdais, who will be confirmed as a Ganassi Ford GT driver next month.
With Bourdais alongside, Fittipaldi and Barbosa scored a win, a third and a second at Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta respectively in 2014, and last year the trio improved that tally to a runner-up place at Daytona but victories in Sebring and Petit. In both years, these results proved crucial to AX Racing’s full-timers clinching the drivers’ championship.
Albuquerque has raced as part of Audi Sport’s Le Mans 24 Hour team for the past two years, but his full-time role has been with Jota Sport in the European Le Mans Series. He has driven the Gibson-Nissan to second and third in the championship in 2014 and ’15 respectively.
Ganassi’s Rolex defence?
While Bourdais seems certain to pilot one of Ganassi's new Ford GTs at Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans, Motorsport.com sources suggest that Ganassi will also be shooting for overall victory in the Rolex 24 Hours.
A Daytona Prototype Riley-Ford EcoBoost is rumored to be piloted by defending race winners Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson, Tony Kanaan and Jamie McMurray.
An announcement is expected mid-December.