Ryan Briscoe gets full season ALMS drive, plus Le Mans debut

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Ryan Briscoe will have the opportunity to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.

The Australian, formerly at Team Penske, has signed to Chip Ganassi Racing for the 500 and has seen his one-off sports car race for Level 5 Motorsports turn into a full-season drive that includes his debut at Le Mans. 

“I’m very excited about this,” Briscoe told Autosport. “I’ve been interested in going to Le Mans for a few years and this year was the perfect opportunity for me to go over there and get some experience.”

Briscoe and Marino Franchitti will be split between Level 5’s pair of HPD ARX-03b prototypes in the P2 class of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, as co-drivers to Level 5 team principal Scott Tucker.

The trio won the season-opening race, the 12 Hours of Sebring, in their class

Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

Photo: IndyCar
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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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