Nasr to miss Daytona race after positive COVID-19 test

Action Express Cadillac driver Felipe Nasr will miss this weekend's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Daytona after testing positive for coronavirus.

Nasr to miss Daytona race after positive COVID-19 test

Ex-Sauber Formula 1 racer Nasr was due to return to action this weekend for the first time since the IMSA season-opening Rolex 24 Hours in January, sharing driving duties in the Whelen Engineering-sponsored #31 AXR Cadillac DPi-V.R with compatriot Pipo Derani.

However, ahead of Friday's first practice session for the two-hour-40-minute, behind-closed-doors event, the WeatherTech 240, AXR issued a statement revealing Nasr had tested positive for COVID-19 and will therefore return to quarantine in Miami.

Gabby Chaves will therefore replace the Brazilian for this weekend's Daytona race, while Nasr targets a return at the following Sebring race on July 18.

"I've been waiting so long for this weekend to get back to racing," commented Nasr. "I felt I had been doing everything correctly. I have been in Miami for about a month, staying away from anyone in racing.

"Yesterday as I was driving to Daytona, I wasn't feeling just right. So, before I went to the track or met with my team or anyone in motorsports, I went and got tested and, unfortunately, I tested positive.

"I want to keep everyone on the Whelen Engineering/Action Express team and those around the series safe. I am going back to Miami to quarantine.

"Hopefully, I will recover quickly, and my doctors can clear me to return to racing soon. For now, I will follow all instructions, guidelines and recommendations from my medical team, my race team, and the IMSA officials."

AXR team manager Gary Nelson added: "We are certainly going to miss having [Nasr] competing in our Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R on Saturday at Daytona.

"But, more importantly, he is a great friend to us all and we know he will fight hard to beat this virus the same way he fights for trophies on the racetracks. We wish him a speedy recovery."

Nasr's replacement Chaves made two appearances for AXR in 2018, racing for the team's Mustang Sampling-backed entry at Watkins Glen and then joining Nasr and his then-full-season teammate Eric Curran in the Whelen car for the Petit Le Mans season finale.

The Colombian was named as a full-season driver for Bryan Herta Autosport's campaign in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship-supporting IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge earlier this year, driving one of the team's Hyundai Veloster N TCRs.

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