Barbosa to Miss Next Pair of IMSA Races After Cycling Accident
The Portuguese driver has taken the overall win at Watkins Glen two years running.
Mustang Sampling Racing veteran Joao Barbosa will miss the next two IMSA WeatherTech competitions at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park due to an injury he suffered while cycling. The Team Action Express branch which he drives for has claimed overall victory at the Glen twice in the last two years with Barbosa having won alongside co-pilots Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi at the six-hour contest. He is expected to return for the August 3-5 contest at Road America.
"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,” explained 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.”
Barbosa has played a major role in the Mustang Sampling crew's 2018 charge which includes a pair of wins in the season's five races thus far. First dominating the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona and again managing the top step of the podium at Long Beach, the No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R team is currently tied with its fellow AXR-entered Whelen Engineering outfit for first in the championship. With 144 points in total, the two seasoned squads sit 14 points ahead of Acura Team Penske's Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves.
"We are fortunate to already have Christian (Fittipaldi) ready to go for the Glen while Joao (Barbosa) 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.”
The July 1 race at Watkins Glen is part of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. Since the championship started in 2014, Team AXR has secured the first position at season's end each time, locking out the title in four consecutive years.