Action Express Racing driver Joao Barbosa has been forced to sit out the next two rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship after sustaining a wrist injury in a bicycle accident.
The Portuguese veteran will miss both the Sahlen Six Hours of the Glen on July 1 and the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the following weekend.
Christian Fittipaldi, who joined Barbosa and regular teammate Filipe Albuquerque for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Sebring 12 Hours, will partner Albuquerque for the two races Barbosa will miss, having stepped down from full-time driving duties with AXR at the end of last season.
“I am really disappointed to have this accident and I hate to miss these races, especially with the amount of success we’ve had at Watkins Glen, I love that track,” said Barbosa, who is targeting a return to race action at Road America in early August.
“I was on a group ride on my road bike, and some of the people ahead of me stopped before I was expecting them to, so I fell on my hand and hurt my wrist.
"It is really unfortunate but I am already focused on my program to get back in the car when the doctors let me.”
Barbosa and Albuquerque currently jointly lead the IMSA points standings in the #5 Cadillac DPi-V.R, with the sister #31 AXR entry of Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran, winners last time out in Detroit.
It marked AXR's third win in five races, following the #5 car's triumphs at Daytona and Long Beach.
AXR team manager Gary Nelson added: “We are fortunate to already have Christian ready to go for the Glen while Joao gets better.
“This is tough for Joao - no driver wants to miss any races, but we are looking forward to him making a fast recovery and getting back behind the wheel.
"Our focus will continue to be on winning as many races as we can.”
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