Pietro Fittipaldi is set to expand his 2018 racing calendar by making his FIA WEC debut with DragonSpeed Racing, substituting for two rounds in place of Renger van der Zande in DragonSpeed’s American-flagged BR1 LMP1.
Due to van der Zande’s IMSA commitments with Wayne Taylor Racing, Fittipaldi – who will also make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut this year – will step in at the season opener at Spa, and later in the season at Fuji. Spa conflicts with the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid Ohio, and Fuji, controversially, conflicts with Petit Le Mans.
While it will be his FIA WEC and LMP1 race debut, the race at Spa will not be Fittipaldi’s first LMP1 appearance. As part of his prize for winning the final World Series Formula V8 V8 3.5 title last year, he was awarded a test with Porsche LMP Team in a 919 Hybrid at last year’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain.
For the two races, he’ll compete with the team’s previously confirmed full-season pair of Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley.
Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, also will be splitting Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 IndyCar entry with Zachary Claman De Melo, making his IndyCar season debut at the Phoenix Grand Prix in April and attempting to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in May.