ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Christian Fittipaldi plans to retire from driving after the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the January race he was won three times.
The 47-year-old Brazilian racer announced the decision Saturday at Road America.
“My relationship with my family, my daughter, my age, so it’s the package. It’s not one thing,” Fittipaldi said. “It’s not that I went out there, I had a huge accident and said, `Whoa, now I’m afraid of doing this. I can’t do this anymore.’ It wasn’t that. It was the package and I think the timing is correct. I’m going to respect the timing a lot.”
Fittipaldi, the nephew of two-time Formula One champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, is a two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype champion, a four-time champion of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup and a winner of 12 IMSA races. He also won two Champ Car races and competed in Formula One and NASCAR.
He’ll get the chance to add two more victories before hanging up his helmet, at Motul Petit Le Mans on Oct. 13, and the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26-27.
“I owe a lot to Daytona,” Fittipaldi said. “I owe a lot to the France family and Daytona has brought me a lot of happiness. I have had a lot of success there. We won three times. I think I have six or seven podiums in total.”
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.