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Sims on “Whirlwind Situation” Corvette to Cadillac GTP Drive

Corvette performance helped lead to Cadillac GTP drive with Action Express…

Photo: Alexander Sims Twitter

Alexander Sims believes his recent performance at the wheel of the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R and existing connections with General Motors helped secure his full-season return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Cadillac’s upcoming factory GTP effort.

Sims was announced on Tuesday as one of Cadillac Racing’s four full-season drivers for next year, with the 34-year-old Englishman teaming up with Pipo Derani in the Action Express Racing-run Cadillac V-LMDh.

While currently under contract with BMW, Sims has dovetailed his GT racing commitments with contesting multiple endurance races for Corvette Racing, including this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he starred at the wheel of the No. 64 Corvette until contact from a LMP2 car led to a race-ending accident.

Sims had set the car’s fastest race lap and the second quickest overall amongst the GTE-Pro class drivers during the French endurance classic in June.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind situation since Le Mans, which ended in disappointment when things were going the right way for us with Corvette,” he said.

“Speaking to (GM sports car racing program manager) Laura [Wontrop Klauser] after the race about how things went and she put us in touch with Action Express and conversations went pretty positive from the start.

“I was able to get over to Atlanta to do a test with Pipo and the team. It was a short day in the DPi car, but it was a wonderful thing to drive.

“Everything went well thankfully, and we were able to agree to things for next year, which is an absolute dream come true from my point of view.”

Having concluded his four-season stint in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Sims said he’s looking forward to putting his focus back exclusively on sports car racing, and in a series where he’s previously enjoyed success.

Sims scored five class wins with BMW Team RLL during his two years in the WeatherTech Championship in 2018-19, including the first victory for the BMW M8 GTE, prior to his move to the all-electric series.

“I don’t think I shied away from the fact that Formula E has been an interesting time for me, but ultimately concluded that it’s not the championship that fits with me in a sporting sense,” he said.

“I couldn’t get my head around it and ultimately didn’t want to be there anymore and wanted to get back to IMSA racing.

“To be in this position to basically get exactly what I wanted and be racing in the top class for the first time is genuinely a dream come true.

“I loved the two years that I did in IMSA – the most enjoyable form of racing that I’ve done. The rules format tends to keep you in the races if you’re struggling, if you’ve had issues there are so many times where you can get back in the race after a hiccup.

“And even if you’re in a strong position and you’re fast, it’s unlikely that you’re ever just going to sail away for two hours ahead of the field.

“There’s always going to be safety cars, there’s always going to be close racing to keep you on your toes.”

Sims added: “The priority was to get back to racing that I enjoyed, which was racing in IMSA. If that were in GT or prototypes, the same fulfillment in that criteria would have been there.

“When prototypes were discussed, the opportunity for a race driver is pretty exciting to run in the top class of any championship.

“It’s been a while since I’ve driven a prototype. I drove LMP2 in ALMS and a few WEC races quite a few years ago.

“The more higher downforce driving is something that’s not too far away from my current situation, but obviously driving in Formula E is somewhat different.

“To get back to higher downforce, fast racing where you’re generally always going to be the leader in terms of speed of class, not having to look into your mirrors always – which is a little bit of a challenge in a GT car – is going to be nice and focus forward.”

When asked by Sportscar365 on whether he’ll continue to be a BMW factory driver, Sims said it’s “yet to be fully decided” whether he’ll be exclusive to GM next year but stressed that the Cadillac GTP drive is going to be his “absolute main focus” in 2023.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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