The Action Express Racing team will learn on Friday whether 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype title winner Felipe Nasr will be able to drive the No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R at this weekend’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring.
The Brazilian tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the July 4 IMSA race at Daytona International Speedway, and has entered the series’ testing protocol to seek clearance to share the car with teammate Pipo Derani.
“The safety of the sport is what’s most important to us, and when Felipe tested positive before Daytona, we changed directions immediately,”AXR team manager Gary Nelson told RACER. “It’s been two weeks now since that test, and IMSA requires two negative tests to be cleared, so hopefully today’s test comes back negative, and then he’ll test again Friday morning, and we’ll know what to do from there.”
Nelson recruited former AXR endurance driver Gabby Chaves to fill Nasr’s seat at Daytona, and has the full-time Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR driver on standby for the WeatherTech Championship portion of the Sebring event.
“We’ve planned for Nasr all the way, but we also have Gabby racing tomorrow in the Michelin Pilot Challenge with his team, and we’ve planned for him to stay in case he’s needed,” Nelson said. “We have a relationship with the Halifax hospital in Daytona, so we’ve been able to work with a group we know and can get the results quicker. That’s what helped us in Daytona to know same-day.
“So we sent Felipe in this morning to get tested, and we expect it to be negative because of his lack of symptoms for the last week. We followed closely to what Jimmie Johnson did when he had COVID, and have given Felipe’s body as much time as possible to rid itself of the illness before going through the testing process. Now we wait for the results.”