Lopez replaces Johnson in AXR's Ally Cadillac for IMSA Sebring 12 Hours - Motor Informed
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Lopez replaces Johnson in AXR’s Ally Cadillac for IMSA Sebring 12 Hours

Lopez, who was fourth driver in AXR’s #48 Cadillac DPi-V.R within the Daytona 24 Hours, will be a part of Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller for the IMSA Sports activities Automobile Championship’s 12-hour basic, which the staff received in 2015 and 2019.

With the race held on 19 March, some hoped it might be attainable for an IndyCar driver to compete in Sebring earlier than heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the second IndyCar spherical on 20 March.

However with IndyCar holding qualifying on the Saturday, those that missed the session could be consigned to the again of the sphere. Given the problem of passing on the 1.5-mile TMS, nobody is taking this selection.

Autosport confirmed with Meyer Shank Racing yesterday that Helio Castroneves, nominally its third man for IMSA endurance races, could be centered on his IndyCar commitments, so MSR is presently in search of a alternative to affix Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist within the Daytona 24-winning Acura ARX-05.

In the meantime Lopez is of course passionate about rejoining AXR for Sebring. He stated: “It was nice to be part of the Ally Cadillac staff at Daytona 24. I used to be very pleased with the staff effort and the way Jimmie, Mike, and Kamui drove within the race.

“Issues simply didn’t go our manner. We had good tempo.

“It was my first expertise at Daytona and racing in America. It was significantly better than what I anticipated. I used to be proud of my efficiency within the automobile.

“This can be a plus. I used to be planning to be in Sebring anyway. Sadly Jimmie isn’t capable of do each IndyCar and IMSA on the similar time.

#48 Action Express Cadillac DPi: Mike Rockenfeller, Kamui Kobayashi, Jimmie Johnson, Jose Maria Lopez

#48 Motion Categorical Cadillac DPi: Mike Rockenfeller, Kamui Kobayashi, Jimmie Johnson, Jose Maria Lopez

Picture by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

“I might be there for the primary WEC race [of the season]. We race on Friday with Toyota after which I’ll cross the storage and race on Saturday within the Ally Cadillac.

“I’m actually grateful for the chance to drive once more with Motion Categorical Racing and hopefully me, Mike and Kamui can ship a superb end result.”

AXR’s staff director Gary Nelson commented: “We’ve had this contingency plan in place since IndyCar introduced their schedule and we noticed that there could be battle with their Texas occasion.

“It was actually a straightforward choice to herald José María. He ran with us at Daytona, did all of the testing main as much as the Rolex, so slotting him in was a no brainer.

“He and Kamui are working the WEC race as properly. However they’re match, and I feel the additional laps at Sebring can solely assist us come race day for our Ally Cadillac effort within the 12-hour race.

“We are going to miss Jimmie and need him all the most effective in Texas.”

Johnson himself commented: “I used to be actually wanting ahead to going again and racing the Ally Cadillac at Sebring. We had a terrific run there final season and had been in rivalry for the win for many of the race.

“José Maria is a wonderful driver and he’ll do nice. I do know the staff’s skilled and so they can get the Ally Cadillac up on the rostrum – hopefully the highest step.”

Johnson’s oval race debut will come on the monitor the place he first accomplished his oval rookie take a look at with Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda final yr.

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