Action Express Cadillac IMSA driver Felipe Nasr will make his debut at Le Mans this year with Cetilar Villorba Corse in the LMP2 class, the Italian outfit confirmed this morning.
Nasr, a former Formula 1 driver, takes the seat filled by Italian racer Andrea Belicchi, who is unable to see out the season after suffering back issues during the opening European Le Mans Series round, forcing him to step down from his drive.
At Le Mans, and for the remaining ELMS races, Nasr will drive the team’s Dallara P217 (pictured) with Roberto Lacorte and Sergio Sernagiotto. While he has yet to make either a Le Mans or ELMS start, he does have experience driving the Dallara (the chassis which the Cadillac DPi V.R is based on) and working the the team; the Brazilian completed 500km behind the wheel of the its P217 last November in a test at Paul Ricard.
“There are so many reasons that makes this moment special that is difficult to talk about only one of them,” Nasr said, commenting about his drive.
“One, I am really happy to be driving for Cetilar Villorba Corse, with whom I tested at Paul Ricard last year, it is great to be back to an Italian team for me that started my racing career in single-seaters driving for an Italian team.
“Two, I am really thrilled to drive this LMP2 Dallara – the same chassis that I am driving in the U.S. – on tracks that I know and like so much: Monza, Spa, Silverstone and Red Bull Ring.
“And third, I am excited to have the opportunity to be in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it is a dream that I have! Let’s go racing!”
Cetilar Villorba Corse’s team principal Raimondo Amadio added: “With great pleasure we welcome again Felipe to our team. Not only for some tests but for an entire season and a 24-hour race, which are really important for us all.
“We really appreciate his talent and so we will do everything to make him feel part of the team immediately. Such a talented and experienced driver will be great new energy to keep on improving. I am sure that with him we are going to face all the challenges at our best.”