By Devin Altieri
Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion Christian Fittipaldi is looking further his success with Action Express Racing in his new role as the team’s Sporting Director.
Fittipaldi won his two IMSA championships with the North Carolina-based sports car outfit, as well as one of his two Rolex 24 wins.
For 2018, he’ll be attempting to transfer that success into wins for both the No. 5 and No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R machines.
It was announced in September that the Brazilian driver would be stepping aside from full-time driving duties with the team as Portuguese endurance driver Filipe Albuquerque joins the No. 5 entry full-time.
Fittipaldi will still get behind the wheel for endurance events, but will now help oversee the program from the other side of the pit wall.
“It’s completely different for me. It’s something new,” he told Sportscar365.
“It’s something that maybe could work for the team’s advantage because I’m still an active driver. It’s different than having someone in this role who hasn’t driven in ten years to watch the cars and give feedback.
“When I go to a corner and I’m looking at the cars I can notice issues because I’ve experienced the same problems in the car and maybe a spotter or engineer would not be able to notice.”
Fittipaldi hopes his expertise will net the team its fourth championship in five years.
But having raced for more than 30 years –in everything from Formula One, Champ Car, Stock Cars and Sports Cars– Fittipaldi isn’t ready to hang the helmet up for good yet.
“It’s part of a transition, no one is going to drive forever, but at the same time it’s not that I’ve had enough of it and I’m not going to drive anymore,” he said.
“I’m trying to use both to my benefit the best way possible, and to the team’s benefit.
“I spent a lot of years with Action [Express] and I’m very thankful to them for what they’ve done for my racing career. It worked. It was a marriage that worked perfectly both ways.”
Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report