Fittipaldi to make WEC LMP1 debut with DragonSpeed

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Fittipaldi to make WEC LMP1 debut with DragonSpeed
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Mar 5, 2018, 4:34 PM

Formula V8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi will make his World Endurance Championship debut in 2018, racing for DragonSpeed in the LMP1 class.

Pietro Fittipaldi, Porsche Team
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Pietro Fittipaldi
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Pietro Fittipaldi, Timo Bernhard
Pietro Fittipaldi, Jaguar Racing
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda

The 21-year-old, grandson of two-time Formula 1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi, will pilot DragonSpeed's BR1 prototype in the opening round of WEC's 2018-19 superseason at Spa-Francorchamps, and will also compete in the October race at Fuji.

“I am very happy and excited for this opportunity to be racing with DragonSpeed,” Fittipaldi said.

“They are a championship-winning team with solid experience in endurance racing. I am looking forward to the races!”

DragonSpeed had previously announced Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman and Renger van der Zande as its drivers for the regular season.

But with van der Zande also slated to contest the full IMSA schedule in a Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi car, the Dutchman is not available for WEC races at Spa or Fuji – the latter clash created by WEC's decision to move the Japan-based round to accommodate Toyota's new recruit Fernando Alonso.

Team owner Elton Julian said: “In the search for the right driver for the job at hand, we evaluated many options which included Le Mans winners and former WEC champions.

“In the end, we’ve chosen to back a new generation. You can’t find a better, more prepared young blood than Pietro. He will deliver.”

Fittipaldi, who won six races en route to his Formula V8 3.5 title last year, had his first run in an LMP1 car in the post-season WEC rookie test, driving Porsche's 919 Hybrid.

In February, he announced a seven-race deal with IndyCar outfit Dale Coyne Racing, that will include him making his Indy 500 debut.

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