Conway drops out of Action Express Rolex 24 lineup
Mike Conway will not be taking part in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Action Express Racing squad this weekend, the team has announced.
Toyota LMP1 regular Conway had been due to join defending race winners Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel of AXR's #5 Cadillac DPi-V.R for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opener.
But the team has revealed that the British driver won't reach Daytona in time to take part in Friday's final practice session and so it will head into the race with just its three 2018 drivers.
“We just got off the phone with Mike, he has been delayed and is still in England,” explained AXR team manager Gary Nelson. “We are very disappointed that we won’t be able to have Mike in our car for the race.
"With the delay, it became obvious that he could not make the trip to Daytona in time for the final practice session. We all decided that it may be best for the #5 car to race the Rolex with Christian, Joao and Fillipe.
"We will continue to work with Mike in other events in the 2019 endurance championship.”
Conway will not race for AXR in the Sebring 12 Hours owing to his Toyota WEC commitments, but could reprise his role for the remaining North American Endurance Cup races at Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta later in the year.
The #5 Cadillac did not set a time in Thursday's qualifying session, owing to an unspecified technical problem.
Albuquerque said that he felt a problem with the car on his out lap and decided to abort his qualifying run.
"The Cadillac was feeling nice but just when I was getting ready for my first flying lap and getting into sixth gear something didn't feel right,” said the Portuguese driver. “So I brought the car to the pits as I knew we had a problem.
"There was really nothing we could do. It is disappointing, but we’ve got a lot of racing before Sunday afternoon and there is an awesome team behind us.”
#5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi, DPi: Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi
Photo by: Jake Galstad / LAT Images
Crunch time for a motorsport underachiever
Rolex 24: Albuquerque leads final practice for AXR