Brendon Hartley will take the place of the now-retired Christian Fittipaldi at Action Express Racing at Sebring, with the ex-Porsche LMP1 star and Formula One driver set to join Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R for next month’s enduro.
The Kiwi was confirmed as the third driver for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round on Monday, completing the lineup in the two-car DPi operation.
Hartley joins the team after Fittipaldi took part in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in what was then a reduced three-driver lineup for the season-opener due to visa issues for Mike Conway.
Conway, however, was never scheduled to drive for Action Express at Sebring due to his WEC commitments with Toyota but is understood to be in the frame to return for the remaining Michelin Endurance Cup races.
“With Christian deciding to retire, we needed to find another driver who is fast and a great team player, and Brendon has a great background and attitude that should be a great match with Joao and Filipe,” said team manager Gary Nelson.
“We’ve followed Brendon through the years since we first saw him race so well in Grand-Am, so we are glad that it worked out for him to join us at Sebring.”
Hartley will become the latest driver to pull double duty between the IMSA and FIA World Endurance Championship races that weekend, with the 29-year-old recently confirmed by SMP Racing for the 1000 Miles of Sebring and Six Hours of Spa WEC rounds.