Thanks to clashes with IMSA, dutchman Renger van der Zande will be missing two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018. Pietro Fittipaldi has been named as his replacement.
Yesterday afternoon, a tweet from DragonSpeed confirmed that the team have lined up a substitute for two rounds of the 2018 leg of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season. Renger van der Zande had been named by the American team as one of their full time drivers, but the Dutchman will miss the opening round in Spa due to a clash with the IMSA round at Mid Ohio, and the newly moved 6 Hours of Fuji as it now clashes with IMSA’s Petit Le Mans.
Dragonspeed have opted to take on young Brazilian driver Pietro Fittipaldi – grandson of Formula One Champion Emerson Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi comes into the WEC off the back of a championship win in World Series Formula V8 3.5 last year, but the young driver has sampled LMP1 machinery before. He made his debut last year in Bahrain at the rookie test, having been awarded the drive with Porsche as a prize for winning the Formula V8 championship.
This marks just one of a several of driver substitutions expected in the either the WEC or IMSA, particularly following the late date change for Fuji (believed to have been done to accomodate Fernando Alonso.) Other names affected by the change include Ford and Mazda factory driver Harry Tincknell, Bruno Senna who leaves United Autosports looking for a Petit Le Mans replacement and Mike Conway who leaves a gap in IMSA’s Action Express Racing due to his Toyota factory drive.