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Cadillac Completes 24-Hour Endurance Test at Sebring

Cadillac V-LMDh runs through the night at Sebring to complete 24-hour endurance test…

Photo: Cadillac

Chip Ganassi Racing has completed a 24-hour continuous test with the Cadillac V-LMDh at Sebring International Raceway as the car’s January race debut approaches.

The American squad simulated the equivalent of back-to-back Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring races at the Florida venue with a single car and a team of six drivers.

Ganassi will field a Cadillac V-LMDh in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.

IMSA team Action Express Racing undertook a “prescribed” testing program with a second car at the same test.

According to Cadillac, the Sebring outing brought the company’s Dallara-based LMDh car to almost 19,000 km (11,806 miles) of running since the first rollout in July.

“It was good to come to Sebring to put the new car through its paces and see what it will do in the harshest environment it will race in terms of surface,” said Cadillac Racing assistant program manager Kalvin Parker.

“It was also beneficial for the team to see how it functions as a unit over 24 hours with a new car with new systems.

“It was helpful to have one car running the full 24 hours and have the other car run a very successful test plan that included some night running to get drivers used to the new headlights in changing track conditions.”

The Ganassi car reportedly had “limited downtime” during the endurance test, which involved gathering data on “race-equivalent stints, including night running, and validating durability” according to Cadillac.

The first half of the test featured Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais and another driver behind the wheel. Sportscar365 understands that this was Scott Dixon.

Ganassi’s WEC lineup of Alex Lynn, Richard Westbrook and Earl Bamber then shared driving duties over the final 12 hours.

Alexander Sims and Pipo Derani were also present and alternated in the Action Express car that they will campaign in the WeatherTech Championship.

“For every driver and every member of the crew, there is no other way to really get to know your machinery than having track time like this,” said Lynn, who will drive for Cadillac CGR in the WEC next year.

“The team sends you out and says you have two hours, go explore. Once the season starts, every run has something to learn, so exploring and learning on your own is a nice feeling, especially when you’re starting to look for more performance.”

Sportscar365 understands that Acura and BMW were also at Sebring with their LMDh cars, however it is not known if they also completed endurance runs.

Cadillac’s test at Sebring came after Porsche carried out a 36-hour simulation at the same circuit, which will host LMDh cars for the WEC season-opener and round two of the WeatherTech Championship on the same weekend in March.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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