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Nunez joins Derani at Action Express Racing for 2022, Conway retained for enduros

Autosport logo Autosport 21/10/2021 David Malsher-Lopez
#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi: Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani © Bill Gulker #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi: Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani

Nunez, who is currently second in the LMP2 standings in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, has plenty of experience in the DPi category, with one win and 11 other podium finishes with Mazda between 2016 and 2020.

The Florida driver lost his place when Mazda Motorsports cut its 2021 efforts from two entries to one, and his former partner Oliver Jarvis was teamed with Harry Tincknell, with Jonathan Bomarito added for the endurance rounds.

Commenting on his new ride for 2022, Nunez observed: “Over my entire career, Cadillac has always been the car to beat. I’ve always admired Action Express Racing’s ability to produce well-earned victories and beautifully run races.

“This is a huge step in my career and I’m excited for the challenge. I couldn’t be happier to be paired with Pipo. Year-after-year, he’s proven to be one of the best.

“Off-track, I feel we will have great camaraderie, which I feel is a key component to having success in this sport. Having Mike as a third driver solidifies the #31 Whelen Cadillac as a force to be reckoned with.”

#11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07: Tristan Nunez © Autosport.com #11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07: Tristan Nunez

#11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07: Tristan Nunez

Photo by: Scott LePage

Derani, who along with current partner Felipe Nasr is locked in a battle with Wayne Taylor Racing for the 2021 IMSA Prototype championship with one round to go, will enter his fourth season with AXR driving the Whelen Cadillac.

The Brazilian commented: “IMSA has proven to be one of the best and most competitive racing series in the world with some of the most amazing endurance races a driver can be a part of. Coming back to fight for more wins and championships with AXR felt like a logical and easy decision to make.

“I am also very happy to welcome Tristan to the Whelen Engineering/AXR team. Tristan had a fantastic stint with Mazda and I am sure, together, we will form a very strong partnership. [We] expect to win.”

Team director Gary Nelson said: “Tristan will be new to our team. But, with the experience we have on the pitbox together with Pipo and Mike helping him with the nuances of the Cadillac DPi-V.R, he will fit right into the team. He has a lot of miles in the DPi category so the competition level will be familiar to him as well.

“We are looking forward to continuing to run up front and compete for the IMSA DPi Championship in 2022.”

Nasr’s plans for next season have not yet been confirmed, but the ex-Formula 1 driver is believed to be on the shortlist for the Porsche LMDh project, along with Dane Cameron.

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