2018 Rolex 24 Winner Set to focus on IMSA Michelin Endurance Challenge in 2020
Denver, NC ( 8 October 2018) – A new but familiar face will join Whelen Engineering Racing in 2020, as Filipe Albuquerque has been signed to the driver roster in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin Endurance Cup (IMEC).
Comprised of the four marquee endurance events on the IMSA WeatherTech Championship schedule, the IMEC covers 52 hours of racing at Daytona International Raceway, Sebring International Raceway, Watkins Glen International, and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The IMEC title is determined by not only where the teams finish the race, but also where they are scored at segments during each of the four long-distance events.
Action Express Racing has won the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 IMEC titles, and is in contention to do so once again in 2019, with one race remaining at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta next Saturday (NBC live broadcast starting at 12:00 PM ET).
The role is a familiar one for Albuquerque, who joined the team’s sister Mustang Sampling Racing effort with a successful run to the 2017 IMEC title ahead of moving to a full time role with the team in 2018 that yielded more victories including the 2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The campaign will open the 2020 IMSA season at the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 25-26, 2020.
“It has been a great opportunity to drive with Joao (Barbosa) and Christian (Fittipaldi) and to represent Mustang Sampling for these last few years,” said Albuquerque. “I understand that the commercial situation for the team has changed so we all are adjusting for the new plans. It will be different for me to just be racing in the endurance events again, but the team is already working hard to bring back the No. 5 car to the full season. In the meantime I am focused on what I know to do best, which now is to win all the four big ones.”
Albuquerque will make his first appearance in the iconic red and white Whelen Engineering Racing machine at the Roar Before the 24 along with full season No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R drivers Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.
Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Michelin Raceway will be live on NBC starting at 12:00 PM ET.