DragonSpeed revises Fuji LMP1 driver line-up

Neither Pietro Fittipaldi nor Henrik Hedman will race for the DragonSpeed LMP1 team in next month’s Fuji FIA World Endurance Championship round, it has been announced.

DragonSpeed revises Fuji LMP1 driver line-up

Team regular Ben Hanley will be joined by Australian driver James Allen at the wheel of the #10 BR Engineering BR1-Gibson for the Japanese event in a revised two-driver line-up.

Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar racer Fittipaldi will not make the trip to Fuji as he focuses on returning to full fitness after breaking both his legs in a major crash during qualifying for the season-opening WEC round at Spa in May.

"I want to focus more on the last race for IndyCar [at Sonoma next weekend] and then further recovery," the Brazilian told Motorsport.com. "We have a big off-season after Sonoma and I want to focus on getting the leg better, stronger.

"I’ve been doing a lot of traveling, a lot of moving, and that’s not helping my bones to heal. I need to use that time to stay home instead and do as much physical therapy as I possibly can.

"My right ankle is 100 percent; my left, because it was the tibia and fibula, they just take longer to heal. My bone is still broken, and I’ve been able to drive because I have a rod in my leg but it is still hurting because the bone is still healing.

"So I need to maximise the healing after the IndyCar season  and get my left leg back to 100 percent as quickly as possible."

The reasons for bronze-rated Hedman, who along with Hanley has contested all three WEC rounds so far this year, skipping the Fuji race are unclear.

Ex-Formula Renault racer Allen races for the Graff-run G-Drive Racing LMP2 team in the European Le Mans Series, scoring two victories at Spa and Portimao in his rookie campaign last season.

The 22-year-old will be making his LMP1 debut as well as his first appearance in a six-hour WEC event at Fuji.

"I’m very excited about this amazing opportunity to race in the WEC 6 Hours of Fuji with DragonSpeed and I’m very grateful to [team boss] Elton Julian and his team for putting their faith in me,” said Allen.

“From my experience in racing in ELMS, DragonSpeed have consistently shown that they are a very professional, well run team and Ben Hanley has always been one of the top drivers of the championship.

“I’m really looking forward to driving with him and working with the team at Fuji."

DragonSpeed boss Julian added: “James has put in some very impressive drives over the last season and has been able to secure P3 in the ELMS championship last year in his rookie sportscar campaign.

“I have no doubt he will settle in nicely within the more complex LMP1 program and work closely with Ben, our engineers and the entire team to bring us the results this program deserves.”

#40 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: James Allen, Jose Gutierrez, Enzo Guibbert

#40 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: James Allen, Jose Gutierrez, Enzo Guibbert

Photo by: JEP / LAT Images

shares
comments
Ginetta cuts back to single car for Fuji WEC round

Previous article

Ginetta cuts back to single car for Fuji WEC round

Next article

Manor no longer involved in Ginetta LMP1 programme

Manor no longer involved in Ginetta LMP1 programme
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Event Fuji
Drivers Pietro Fittipaldi , Henrik Hedman
Teams DragonSpeed
Author Jamie Klein
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Prime

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The tiny increments that decided the final LMP1-era WEC Prime

The tiny increments that decided the final LMP1-era WEC

The system of success handicaps devised by the FIA World Endurance Championship to level the LMP1 playing field in the category's swansong season ended up having a counterproductive effect, as COVID cancellations also played in the champions' favour.

WEC
Dec 5, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020
The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season Prime

The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season

It may have been missed amid the clamour over Lewis Hamilton's seventh F1 title, but Britain had another world champion crowned last weekend. Mike Conway's WEC crown raises an old conundrum - does title glory make up for the pain of Le Mans defeat?

WEC
Nov 19, 2020
The 10 greatest LMP1 races ranked Prime

The 10 greatest LMP1 races ranked

As the LMP1 class prepares to bow out of top-line sportscar racing at the World Endurance Championship season finale in Bahrain this weekend, Motorsport.com looks back over the past two decades to pick out the 10 of its best contests

Endurance
Nov 9, 2020
Why COVID-19 didn't stop Peugeot's Le Mans commitment Prime

Why COVID-19 didn't stop Peugeot's Le Mans commitment

When the global pandemic hit, Peugeot was given the perfect excuse to back out of its stated intention to return to Le Mans in 2022. That it hasn't done so is telling both of its unfinished business and the opportunities presented by the Hypercar rulebook

Le Mans
Oct 8, 2020