Pagenaud, Albuquerque Get Petit LeMans Rides

IndyCar champ Simon Pagenaud
IndyCar champ Simon Pagenaud

The Action Express Racing team will add a pair of experienced drivers to the team's lineup for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale — Petit Le Mans Oct. 1 at Road Atlanta.

Joining drivers Dane Cameron and Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen/Team Fox Corvette DP will be Simon Pagenaud, who this past weekend captured the championship in the Verizon IndyCar World Series.

Felipe Albuquerque will be sharing the driving duties with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP in the 10 hour endurance test at the challenging 12-turn, 2.54-mile permanent road course located about 35 miles north of Atlanta.

Heading into the final race of the season, Cameron and Curran lead their teammates Barbosa and Fittipaldi by one point in the IMSA championship standings in the Prototype class.

Pagenaud joined the Action Express team for this year's season-opening 24 Hours of Daytona. He joined Cameron, Curran and Johnny Adam behind the steering wheel of the No. 31 entry. The team registered a sixth-place finish at Daytona, completing 724 laps and being at the front of the field for 60 circuits around the Daytona International Speedway road course.

Pagenaud, who is from France, was a regular competitor in sports car racing from 2008 to 2010, primarily participating in the American Le Mans Series. Over a three-year span, Pagenaud picked up a total of eight wins, including four victories in 2009 and another four the following season, before making the transition to Indy cars. He earned his first IndyCar championship this season driving for Penske Racing. En route to the title, he collected five wins, including a first-place finish in the season-finale at Sonoma, Calif. to clinch the title.

Albuquerque has participated in a pair of events with the Action Express team in 2016. He joined Barbosa and Fittipaldi in the No. 5 entry at the first two races of the season – the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. In both races, the team finished fourth. The native of Portugal has also made three straight starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2014 to 2016).

Albuquerque finished second in the FIA World Endurance Championship event in Austin Saturday night following the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. This year, he has picked up a pair of wins in the LMP2 class of the WEC (Six Hours of Silverstone and Six Hours of Mexico), as well as another second-place finish (Six Hours of Nurburgring). He currently sits in second-place in the WEC LMP2 standings.

"We're looking forward to having Simon and Felipe back with our team for Petit Le Mans," said Gary Nelson, team manager for Action Express Racing. "We worked with both drivers at the start of the season in Daytona, and Felipe has joined our program at a couple other endurance races this season. They both did a really good job behind the wheel at Daytona and have easily fit in with our drivers and team."

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