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Derani to split with Action Express Racing at end of IMSA 2024 season

Two-time IMSA champion will find a new home for 2025, as Cadillac radically restructures its sportscar programs

#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken

#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

One of the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s most successful partnerships of recent times, Pipo Derani and Action Express Racing, will part ways at the end of the season.

Derani, who won the 2021 and ’23 top-class IMSA titles with AXR’s Cadillac team, announced on Saturday that this will be his last campaign with a team that he joined in 2019.

As well as his two titles with the team – one in the current GTP category and the other in the DPi class that preceded it – the 30-year-old Brazilian has scored two of his four victories in the Twelve Hours of Sebring, taking a total of seven wins in the #31 Whelen Engineering-backed Cadillac.

He also claimed the 2019 and ’23 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup titles with the outfit.

“We have mutually agreed not to go forward together past this year,” Derani said in a statement.

“We’ve had a fantastic time together with two championships, two endurance championships and many race wins and pole positions.

“I truly have enjoyed my time with this team and with Cadillac. I appreciate everything they’ve given me, what they’ve done for my career and all the good times we’ve had together will forever be in my memory.

“It’s time to go win a third championship this year together before both of us move different ways.”

#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken, #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais

#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken, #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Derani’s move is the latest in a significant shakeup of Cadillac Racing’s sportscar programme with its LMDh V-Series.R.

Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti is hotly tipped to be revealed as a Cadillac factory team next year.

Chip Ganassi Racing revealed that it was parting ways at the end of the season in March after four years with the marque, and it remains in the frame to pick up WTR’s Acura deal – with a return by Meyer Shank Racing also understood to be a possibility for the Honda brand’s ARX-06 plans in 2025.

Current Porsche customer team Jota is expected to switch to Cadillac’s ranks in the World Endurance Championship, while WTR has previously shared its desire to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours in future – which wouldn’t appear to be happening any time soon with Acura – as well as continuing in IMSA.

Laura Wontrop Klauser, who heads up GM's sportscar racing programmes, refused to be drawn on its plans for next year and told Autosport: “We do not have a timeline set for an announcement. It's a TBD for both programmes at the moment.”

Wayne Taylor’s team last won the 2017 IMSA title with Cadillac, along with multiple Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring victories, before it joined Acura’s ranks in 2021.

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