NASCAR Sprint Cup racer Brian Vickers will contest the Le Mans 24 Hours this year. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver will compete in a Ferrari 458 Italia for its sports car sister team, AF Waltrip Racing. The 28-year-old Vickers will also contest this weekend's Six Hours of Spa, round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The drive came about courtesy of team boss Michael Waltrip's heavy workload this year, explained MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman, who will drive with Vickers and Rui Aguas at Spa and Le Mans.
"Michael wasn't able to do Spa or Le Mans, because he has two different contractual obligations on those weekends," said Kauffman. "He's racing at Talladega this weekend and is scheduled to comment for FOX TV on the weekend of Le Mans.
"Brian was kind of a member of the family, so he'll be doing those races instead, but we expect Michael to be back in the car for Silverstone."
Kauffman revealed that Vickers, who is scheduled to contest eight Cup races with MWR, was fulfilling a long-held ambition by racing at Le Mans.
"Because he is not doing a full season of NASCAR this year, Brian was looking at doing Le Mans," he said. "We was working on a couple of deals independently of us to get over there."
Waltrip and Kauffman undertook selected races, including Le Mans, with the Italian AF Corse team last year. This year, an entry has been lodged for the full WEC under the AF Waltrip Racing banner, the team name also used at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.