Chip Ganassi Racing is closing in on confirming a two-car Cadillac DPi-V.R effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, likely featuring several star drivers either making their team debut or return to the championship-winning organization.
Sportscar365 has learned that former 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Sebastien Bourdais and ex-Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber are among the leading candidates to land full-season drives in the expanded effort for 2022.
Both drivers are understood to have already tested CGR’s Cadillac DPi-V.R in a private outing at Road America in August and could line up alongside the already confirmed Renger van der Zande in the reshuffled effort.
Ex-ABB FIA Formula E ace Alex Lynn has also been mentioned as a possibility for a seat next year, with the team needing three full-time drivers to join the Dutchman in the two-pronged attack.
CGR managing director Mike Hull told Sportscar365 in August that it was ‘narrowing down’ Kevin Magnussen’s replacement although downplayed the chances of a second full-season Cadillac entry at the time.
This is understood to have changed in recent weeks, with an increased likelihood of a two-car full-season program for next year.
Bourdais, who is set to scale back his NTT IndyCar Series involvement next year, would return to the team following his success as a third driver with the CGR-run Ford GT program that included GTE-Pro class victory at Le Mans in 2016.
The Frenchman is understood to be primed by Cadillac as one of its favored drivers heading into the LMDh era in 2023, when the luxury manufacturer will have a presence in both the WeatherTech Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.
Bamber, who has not been under factory contract with Porsche this year, is understood to be another driver high on Cadillac’s list, with the Kiwi having recently moved to Nashville in anticipation of a full-season WeatherTech Championship program in 2022.
While now appearing unlikely, CGR had at one point considered debuting its second Cadillac DPi entry at this year’s Motul Petit Le Mans.
Bourdais has previous commitments to the JDC-Miller Motorsports-run Mustang Sampling-sponsored Cadillac effort at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, having been the team’s third driver in this year’s Michelin Endurance Cup races.