Tristan Vautier has received a late call-up to take part in this weekend’s Motul Petit Le Mans, filling in for the injured Joao Barbosa.
The Frenchman will team up with Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi.V-R after doctors did not clear Barbosa to race due to rib injuries.
Barbosa sustained the injuries in last month’s start-line accident at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which destroyed the Mustang Sampling-sponsored Cadillac DPi and left the two Portuguese drivers without any points in the race.
It marks the second injury to befall Barbosa, after missing two races this summer due to a fractured wrist from a biking accident.
“This has been a tough year for me after a great start with our wins at Daytona and Long Beach,” he said. “In my career, I never had to miss any races during a season, and this year I’m missing three because of injuries.
“But I think the team can do well this weekend with the Mustang Sampling car—no matter what we’ve raced, this track has always suited our team so there is a lot of confidence for the weekend. Tristian will be a great fit with the experience that he already has in the Cadillac Prototype.”
Vautier, who claimed pole for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, became available following Spirit of Daytona’s decision to pull its entry for the ten-hour season finale.
The Troy Flis-led team has not taken part in a WeatherTech Championship race since the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in July.
While having previous Cadillac DPi experience with SDR, it will mark Vautier’s debut with Action Express.
“I feel badly for Joao, so this is a tough circumstance to be having this opportunity and I hope he recovers as quickly as possible,” Vautier said.
“I am grateful to Troy for letting me do this, and also to the Mustang Sampling team for trusting me for this role because it is a big responsibility with the Endurance Cup still to fight for.
“Hopefully the experience I have in the Cadillac Prototype will help us get the result that we are looking for.”