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Ganassi Grows IMSA Program

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 21 2021

Chip Ganassi will own two Cadillacs next season.

Chip Ganassi Racing will add a second V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R and three new fulltime drivers to its 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team.

The two entries will be driven by returning Cadillac DPi-V.R veteran Renger van der Zande of The Netherlands; Sebastien Bourdais of France; New Zealander Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn of Great Britain. Bamber is the latest addition to the Cadillac program.

Van der Zande, a winner at Detroit this season in the V-Performance Academy Cadillac, is looking forward to working with his new teammates.

“It’s great news to have Sebastien, Alex, and Earl as new teammates,” van der Zande said in a team news release. “They are all high-class, proven race car drivers. I think they’ll be a good fit with the team. Sebastien has done everything in the world, he has a lot of raw speed. I know Earl very well from our junior series and he’s an LMP1 overall winner. Alex comes to us from Formula E and has a lot of sports car experience.

“I feel great about coming back with the Chip Ganassi Racing team. I feel more at home than ever with them. They put a lot of responsibility on everyone. Chip and Mike Hull run a great operation _ that’s why they have been successful. We still have Petit Le Mans coming up, so we need to finish 2021 strong.”

The IMSA WeatherTech Championship will conclude its current season with the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Nov. 11-13.

Bourdais, a four-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, will join CGR from JDC-Miller Motorsports for the full 2022 campaign.

“I’m super-excited to reunite with Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Bourdais, who spent the 2021 INDYCAR season with A.J. Foyt Racing and its Chevrolet-powered Dallaras. “We’ve had our fair share of successes in the past and I can’t wait to start working with drivers like Renger, Earl and Alex. This is obviously a bit of a turning point in my career, that will see me transitioning most of my attention to sports car racing, but I remain in the GM family.

“I can’t thank everyone involved enough for their trust and continued support. I’m convinced Cadillac, Chip, Mike, Steve (Eriksen, team manager) and the entire team will give us all the tools we need to drive our cars to Victory Lane.”

Lynn, who has logged two starts in the Cadillac DPi-V.R, brings his Formula E and Le Mans experience to the organization. 

“I’m really excited to get to race in the Cadillac with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2022,” Lynn said. “I’ve driven the Cadillac before and have had success in the car. It’s been a while since I drove the Cadillac, but it left a lasting impression on me. I raced it once and won at Sebring. I would like to reignite that emotion. I’m excited to run a full season in the car.

“My teammates’ records speak for themselves when it comes to talent. Sebastien, Renger, and Earl have had a lot of success individually, so it will be great to work alongside them and add some more hardware to the Chip Ganassi trophy cabinet.

“The goal is to win. I’ve always dreamed of winning the big races in America. I’ve been fortunate enough to win Sebring. I’m hungry to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona and put a good championship run together. Cadillac has a winning heritage in IMSA and we want to be adding to that in 2022.”

Bamber will make his first start in a Cadillac at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January after transitioning from sports cars and the Porsche LMP1 program, where he won overall at Le Mans in 2015 and 2017.

“I’m incredibly excited and honored to join Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing for 2022,” Bamber said. “When you talk about legendary sports car racing teams you think of CGR. They’ve already won their class at Le Mans. It’s a world-class team and it’s amazing to see what they’ve done in their first year with the Cadillac DPi-V.R. I’m also excited to race in the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

“I don’t know who my direct teammate will be, but the lineup the team has put together is awesome and world-class. Renger is a Daytona and championship winner already. Sebastien is someone I’ve looked up to as a kid when he was in Champ Car and INDYCAR. Alex with his Formula E and sports car experience is fast as well. We have a nice mix of talent from different racing series.

“My personal hope is to win at Daytona. It has eluded me for many years as I’ve finished on the podium multiple times. I would also love to win some of the other highlight races and the team and driver’s championship.”

CGR will announce driver pairings and endurance drivers prior to the “Roar Before the 24” at Daytona in January.

Cadillac announced in late August it is developing a fourth generation Prototype constructed to the new IMSA and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) LMDh regulations. 

Cadillac will partner with CGR and Action Express Racing (AXR) for the project, which will compete in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the WEC Championship beginning in 2023.

Cadillac and constructor Dallara are designing the Cadillac LMDh. The companies’ cooperative efforts led to design of the championship-winning Cadillac DPi-V.R. A new GM-developed engine will integrate with the LMDh common hybrid system.

The Cadillac LMDh is projected to debut at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in January 2023, with the objective of also participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 21 2021
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