With a career spanning over two decades, Christian Fittipaldi justifies the weight of his famous surname. He is the son of Wilson Fittipaldi and the nephew of the well known Formula 1 driver Emerson Fittipaldi.
Christian was born in 1971 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and has competed in various series, beginning with Formula Ford in Brasil and Formula 3000. In his sole season in the International Formula 3000, where he drove for Pacific Racing, Christian was the 1991 championship winner.
Fittipaldi's career is marked by Formula One and CART open wheeler cars
From 1992 to 1994, Fittipaldi drove in Formula One for Minardi and Footwork, and later during his career, he drove in CART, NASCAR, A1 Grand Prix, Stock Car Brasil championships, and also participated in three 24 Hours of Le Mans races, finishing 7th, 10th and 8th in his classes in 2006, 2007 and 2008. His first CART season was in 1995 when he drove for Walker. The season started off good for him and he even scored a second place at Indy 500, which won him the Rookie of the Year award.
Christian Fittipaldi, Minardi F1 team
Talent wasn't enough for the CART title
The following season, Fittipaldi went to Newman-Haas, where he stayed until 2002. His best CART finishes were in 1996 and 2002, when he ended up in fifth place in both seasons driving for Newman-Haas. During his CART years, Christian Fittipaldi sustained serious injuries on two occasions, at the 1997 Sunbelt Indy Carnival in Australia and in 1999, just two races after scoring his first CART win at Road America. He never managed to keep his form throughout the season, so he never became the CART championship winner, although he had the potential.
Christian Fittipaldi at Rockingham, 2002
Better results in the IMSA Championship
On numerous occasions, Christian Fittipaldi drove endurance races in North America, winning his first 24 Hours of Daytona in 2004, and driving for Andretti Green Racing in 2008. In 2011, Fittipaldi participated in Daytona 24 for Action Express Racing finishing third, and he finished fifth driving for the same team in 2012. In 2013 he became a regular driver for the team, and finished the 2013 Rolex Sports Car Series in 7th place in the Daytona Prototype class, but won at Mid-Ohio, and the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, partnered mostly with Joao Barbosa.
Fittipaldi celebrates victory at Daytona with Barbosa and Bourdais
Christian Fittipaldi wins Daytona 24 Hours again
In 2014, he won The 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, and scoring two more victories, one second place and four 3rd places, he managed to win the Tudor United SportsCar Championship with his co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Sébastien Bourdais. In 2015, he only managed to get to the second position with the same pair of co-drivers, but the Action Express Racing trio won at Sebring and scored the first place in their class, as well as third overall at Road Atalanta.
Christian Fittipaldi, Action Express Racing
In 2016 Fittipaldi stayed with Action Express Racing and driving alongside Joao Barbosa finished the season as a runner-up, just three points behind the champions and their teammates Dane Cameron and Eric Curran. As a consolation, Fittipaldi and Barbosa were the winners of the North American Endurance Cup.
Video - Championship highlights, Christian Fittipaldi and co-driver Joao Barbosa