Albuquerque Joins Whelen Engineering Racing

Albuquerque Joins Whelen Engineering Racing

08.10.2019: 2018 Rolex 24 Winner Set to focus on IMSA Michelin Endurance Challenge in 2020 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

2018 Rolex 24 Winner Set to focus on IMSA Michelin Endurance Challenge in 2020

 

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.


 


Felipe Nasr
Born: August 21, 1992
Hometown: Brasilia, Brazil



26 year old Brazilian Felipe Nasr made an immediate impression in his first full season of IMSA WeatherTech competition, claiming the championship as well as the Michelin Endurance Cup. But those who have followed the fast Felipe were far from surprised, as Nasr has had a record-setting career at every turn, including a remarkable run with 39 starts in Formula One; winning championships and races in both Formula BMW and British Formula 3; to the 24 Hours of Le Man. Winner of the 2018 race at Detroit Belle Isle, he rejoins the NC-based Whelen sponsored team in 2019 as full-time driver.
 



Luís Felipe “Pipo” Derani
Born: October 13, 1993
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil



The 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and Sebring 12 Hour race winner Pipo Derani joined Whelen Engineering Racing ahead of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.


The Brazilian racer forged a path in open wheel before moving to the endurance sports car ranks. The change yielded the fast, young racer wins in some of the sport’s biggest events as he now eyes his opportunity to fight for a prized IMSA WeatherTech Championship with Action Express Racing.




Eric Curran
Born: June 8, 1975
Hometown: Springfield, MA


Curran’s career in racing started with a father and son project that saw him prepare a Volvo to go racing. It went well: Eric won 4 championships and 22 races in the SCCA ITB Series. From there, his path was up and forward as he raced in a range of GT machines and continued to build his path in the sport.



Linking up with Sonny Whelen in 2007 also brought immediate results: more wins. Curran has continued to adapt to every new car he’s strapped into, claiming the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech drivers championship with Whelen and then capturing the 2018 IMSA Championship as well as the Michelin Endurance Cup on board the Cadillac DPi.V.R. Curran returns to the team in 2019 to defend his Endurance Cup.
 
 

 

 Matt Cleary, photos Whelen Racing

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/albuquerque-joins-whelen-engineering-racing---198773.html

08.10.2019 / MaP

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