Reigning FIA World Endurance champion Jose Maria Lopez is set for his maiden run in a DPi entry, having been drafted into Action Express Racing’s lineup for a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway this week.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing Hypercar driver is slated to join Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller at the wheel of the No. 48 Ally-sponsored Cadillac DPi-V.R beginning on Tuesday for what could be a prelude to a run in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and potentially full IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup season.
Lopez is understood to have been seeking opportunities in IMSA’s long-distance races, with at least one vacancy in the No. 48 Cadillac lineup, in Simon Pagenaud likely to be heading to Meyer Shank Racing as its fourth driver for the Rolex 24.
The status of fellow Toyota LMH driver Kamui Kobayashi, who was announced as the new team principal of Toyota’s FIA World Endurance Championship program, is unclear.
Kobayashi was present Monday at Toyota’s annual press conference in Japan, which likely would preclude him from taking part in this week’s test.
Nearly a dozen WeatherTech Championship teams are set for on-track action in the private test, including both Wayne Taylor Racing and MSR Acura ARX-05 DPis, as well as Cadillac squad Chip Ganassi Racing.
Newly minted NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou is slated to get his first laps in Ganassi’s Cadillac as well.
BMW Team RLL and Turner Motorsport will debut their new BMW M4 GT3 machinery in GTD Pro and GTD, respectively, while Magnus Racing, Vasser Sullivan, TR3 Racing and Andretti Autosport are all reported to be on-site.
Anthony Florio contributed to this report