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Fittipaldi to Retire After 2019 Rolex 24

Christian Fittipaldi to make final start in 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Action Express Racing sporting director Christian Fittipaldi announced on Saturday that the 2019 running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will mark his final IMSA Prototype outing as he targets a fourth overall victory in the fabled event.

“Everything in life has a beginning, middle, and end— and I am at the beginning of the end of this stage of my career and competing at this level,” said Fittipaldi.

“All that I can say is that it has been an awesome trip.

“Thank you to mom and dad, and to my whole family. Without them I couldn’t have had the opportunities that I have had all through my career.

“My wife and daughter have given me so much motivation, especially in the later stages of my racing career.”

Fittipaldi arrived in North America in 1995 following a record-setting start to his Formula 1 career before going on to set new marks in IndyCar and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

The Brazilian made an impressive transition to IndyCar, scoring a runner-up result in his first-ever Indianapolis 500 outing.

Taking a breakthrough IndyCar win at Road America in 1999, Fittipaldi went on to claim a million dollar race day prize with his victory in the 2000 Fontana 500. Fittipaldi moved to NASCAR competition with Richard Petty Racing before racing in A1GP, American Le Mans, and Brazilian Stock Car competition.

While his racing exploits saw him feature in a wide range of categories, one element that remained consistent through the years was his participation in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

With 13 starts in the race including eight with Action Express, Fittipaldi has been a podium regular in the blue ribbon event, claiming victory in 2004, 2014, and again in 2018 with co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque.

Fittipaldi’s campaigns with Action Express Racing includfed the 2014 and 2015 WeatherTech Championship titles as well as the North American Endurance Cup titles in 2014-17.

“There is no way to fully express my gratitude to all the sponsors that I have been associated with throughout my career, and to the teams that I have raced for, especially to Action Express Racing,” said Fittipaldi.

“I don’t have enough words to describe Action Express Racing, it is an outstanding team and I think we capitalized on every opportunity that we had, to the maximum.”

Fittipaldi transitioned to the role of sporting director for the team this year, racing in the endurance events while also being on site for every IMSA event weekend as part of the performance engineering effort for the team and serving as a liaison with team sponsors.

He will race next in the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans.

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