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Hedman to Skip Fuji; Allen Joins DragonSpeed in Revised Lineup

James Allen joins DragonSpeed for Fuji, two-driver lineup confirmed…

Photo: MPS Agency

DragonSpeed has adjusted its FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 driver lineup ahead of the Six Hours of Fuji.

The American outfit will run two drivers in the No. 10 BR Engineering BR1 Gibson rather than three, with European Le Mans Series LMP2 racer James Allen set to come in for his series debut.

Allen, 22, will partner team regular Ben Hanley while Pietro Fittipaldi and Henrik Hedman are both set to miss the event on Oct 13-14 despite appearing on the provisional entry list.

The Australian driver has spent the last two ELMS seasons with Graff and currently races the French team’s G-Drive backed Oreca 07 Gibson.

It’s understood that Fittipaldi, who has not raced in LMP1 since his leg-breaking accident at Spa, will not make the trip because of simultaneous recovery efforts and IndyCar commitments.

The reasons for bronze-rated Hedman’s absence, meanwhile, are undisclosed.

“We will race with a new lineup at Fuji,” said team principal Elton Julian.

“Continuing with our primary driver, Ben Hanley, and putting our trust in young James Allen, one of the best LMP2 performers over the last one and a half seasons in the ELMS.

“James has put in some very impressive drives over the last season and has been able to secure P3 in the ELMS championship last year in his rookie sportscar campaign.

“I have no doubt he will settle in nicely within the more complex LMP1 program and work closely with Ben, our engineers and the entire team to bring us the results this program deserves.”

Julian added that the team will be looking to improve on its showing at the Six Hours of Silverstone, where its car spent 35 minutes longer in the pits than the LMP1 competition to fix multiple issues.

“It’s no secret we struggled with the BR1 Gibson at Silverstone,” he said.

“This was a weekend of abnormalities and we move forward with a better understanding of our package looking to show more of the potential so often shown in individual sessions throughout the season thus far.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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