Joao Barbosa has been ruled out of the next two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races due to a wrist injury sustained in a bicycle accident, Action Express Racing has confirmed.
The two-time series champion, who currently is tied at the top of the Prototype points standings, will be replaced in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R by Christian Fittipaldi in both the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and subsequent round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Barbosa is expected to return to action by Road America in August.
“I am really disappointed to have this accident and I hate to miss these races, especially with the amount of success we’ve had at Watkins Glen, I love that track,” said Barbosa.
“I was on a group ride on my road bike, and some of the people ahead of me stopped before I was expecting them to, so I fell on my hand and hurt my wrist.
“It is really unfortunate but I am already focused on my program to get back in the car when the doctors let me.”
Fittipaldi, who shifted to an endurance-only role as a driver, as well as becoming the team’s sporting director, will suit up for the CTMP round alongside full-season driver Filipe Albuquerque, with the pairing now set to tackle Watkins Glen as a two-driver lineup.
The No. 5 Cadillac DPi is currently tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen entry for the lead of the championship heading into the sixth round of the season in three weeks’ time.
“We are fortunate to already have Christian ready to go for the Glen while Joao gets better,” said team manager Gary Nelson.
“This is tough for Joao—no driver wants to miss any races, but we are looking forward to him making a fast recovery and getting back behind the wheel. Our focus will continue to be on winning as many races as we can.”
It is the second time Barbosa has had a wrist-related injury from recreational activity, as he was sidelined in February 2016 with a fractured left wrist due to an accident while on a hoverboard.
Barbosa, however, did not miss a race due to that injury.