Fittipaldi to sub for injured Novalak in Daytona 24 Hours

During Friday morning’s final practice session for IMSA’s season-opener, Novalak was involved in a pit lane incident and sustained a leg and hip injury.

The team confirmed the injuries were not serious but was severe enough to sideline the Frenchman for the remainder of the event. As a result, Fittipaldi will join Nick Boulle, Jakub Śmiechowski and Tom Dillmann the team’s No. 52 entry that competes in the LMP2 category.

Fittipaldi, who will compete full-time in the IndyCar Series for the 2024 season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, has previous experience with Inter Europol Competition. He drove the ORECA 07 in the European Le Mans Series in 2022, helping deliver a remarkable podium drive after starting at the back of the field at Spa-Francorchamps.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for the team and Clément,” Fittipaldi said.

“They have been doing a great job preparing for the Daytona 24 Hours. I got the call from the team asking me to jump in at the last minute at Daytona, and I’ll be straight into green flag racing.

“Fortunately, I have experience with this car, and I did the 24-hours last year. It’s not going to be an easy task, but I am looking forward to the challenge, and I’ll do the best job possible for the team.”

Although the team qualified second in class, it will likely have to start at the rear of the LMP2 grid due to the driver change, per IMSA SportsCar Championship rules.

Boulle will step in for the start of the race, which begins on Saturday at 1:40 pm ET.

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