Chip Ganassi Racing is working on fielding a second Cadillac DPi-V.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year as part of a ramped up effort with the manufacturer heading into the LMDh era in 2023.
The championship-winning organization currently operates a single Cadillac DPi for Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen, who will depart the team at the end of the season for his new deal with Peugeot in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
CGR managing director Mike Hull told Sportscar365 that there’s currently a “reasonable” chance of seeing a second car in 2022 although it has yet to be confirmed.
“We’re working on trying to do that at this point, or putting it together with Cadillac to do that,” Hull told Sportscar365.
“Hopefully we can get it to the point where it is reality for all of us. But I don’t think it’s fair to comment on that yet.”
Hull did say that progress has been made on finding Magnussen’s replacement, with the team having completed a “good test” at Road America earlier this month.
Sportscar365 understands that ex-Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber and Formula E star Alex Lynn were among those in attendance, although Hull would not confirm drivers.
“It’s coming along well,” Hull said on finding a replacement for Magnussen.
“As you can imagine there’s a lot of people that are ringing the door bell and really, really quality race drivers.
“We had a successful test at Road America the week after the IMSA race where we tested three drivers.
“That is why that test was scheduled, frankly, was to work on finding one suitable driver to drive in the No. 01 car going forward in 2022.
“We’re narrowing that and getting closer to who we want to do that with.
“Cadillac is part of that, Dallara is part of it and ourselves, Chip Ganassi Racing, in providing a good teammate for Renger going forward.”
Hull said the test was specifically to fill the soon-to-be-vacant seat in the No. 01 car and not for a potential second entry.
However, he stressed the team’s desire of having a second CGR Cadillac on the grid next year.
“To be able to run a two-car program is very, very important for everybody involved in this,” Hull said.
“I think it would be an alignment with our partners being Dallara and Cadillac and the working relationship that we need to build on with Action Express, to be in a better position in 2023 to represent all of us the right way.”
Hull: “Too Early to Talk” About 2023 Program Specifics
Specifics on CGR’s 2023 program with Cadillac are still being finalized according to Hull, who said it’s “safe to assume” that the team will be present in both WeatherTech Championship and WEC competition.
Hull, however, said it’s “too early to talk” about the scope of both programs and whether they would be set up in a similar way to CGR’s previous dual-series effort with the factory Ford GT operation.
“It’s Cadillac’s announcement on how that’s going to unfold,” he said.
“We’ve been part of the creation of an outline with Laura [Klauser] and Cadillac. That will come fairly soon, as to the way it will be laid out.
“We’re looking forward to racing with them; there’s no question about that. We’re looking forward to racing at the highest level, which is really most important for all of us.”