Formula V8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi will make his World Endurance Championship debut in 2018 with two outings for LMP1 squad DragonSpeed.

The grandson of double Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi will contest the opening round of the WEC 2018/19 superseason at Spa-Francorchamps behind the wheel of DragonSpeed’s BR1 prototype, while he will also race in October’s Six Hours of Fuji. 

Fittipaldi will fill in for regular driver Renger van der Zande, with the Dutchman missing both rounds as he dovetails his WEC commitments alongside a full IMSA SportsCar Championship campaign. 

The second clash was caused by WEC’s decision to move the Japanese round to allow Fernando Alonso to contest the race for Toyota, with the Fuji race originally pencilled in on the same weekend as the United States Grand Prix.

"I am very happy and excited for this opportunity to be racing with DragonSpeed," Fittipaldi said.

"They are a championship-winning team with solid experience in endurance racing. I am looking forward to the races.”

The 21-year-old, who will also compete in seven IndyCar races in 2018 for Dale Coyne Racing, will join Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman in the team for the pair of WEC rounds. 

Team owner Elton Julian added: "In the search for the right driver for the job at hand, we evaluated many options which included Le Mans winners and former WEC champions.

"In the end, we've chosen to back a new generation. You can't find a better, more prepared young blood than Pietro. He will deliver."