Joao Barbosa says he’s actively looking for his next racing opportunity following Monday’s news of his exit from Mustang Sampling and JDC-Miller Motorsports.
The two-time IMSA Prototype champion and his longtime sponsor ‘mutually agreed’ to part ways effective immediately, which has left Barbosa to work on new options for the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Barbosa will be replaced in the No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R by Tristan Vautier for the final three WeatherTech Championship races of the season, in a surprising development.
“It was difficult, but this is the best for everyone to be able to get to work on what is next,” said Barbosa. “With three races still to go this season, it is possible to get a head start on 2021 with a new team, so we all decided to part ways so that I’d be available to race this year.
“I am already looking forward to a new challenge.
“With the LMP3 cars being eligible for WeatherTech next year, there are some teams that are looking to make that move up, and my experience could help them. There are also a lot of very strong teams in GTD, so that could be interesting as well as I look for the next opportunity to continue to pursue my career.
“We will see, I am just looking forward to what is next.”
Barbosa, a three-time Rolex 24 at Daytona winner, got his 2020 campaign off to a strong start with podiums in the first three rounds of the WeatherTech Championship season in the new-look JDC-Miller-run operation, after a ten-year stint with Action Express Racing.
Up until the most recent round at Mid-Ohio, Barbosa and co-driver Sebastien Bourdais sat second in the DPi points standings.
“We had a very good start to the 2020 season, “he said. “We had hoped to get at least one podium this year with the Mustang Sampling Cadillac, and we went on to do that three times to start the season.
“It was very gratifying to have those results for Mustang Sampling and JDC. But this has been a challenging year personally and professionally for everyone, and it is no different now.
“After a lot of discussion, the team and I have made the mutual decision to go our own separate ways.”