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CGR ‘Figuring Out’ Le Mans Logistics With Second Cadillac

CGR’s global director of operations Mike O’Gara on team’s logistics for French endurance classic…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Chip Ganassi Racing is still working out the exact logistics for its second Cadillac V-Series.R entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans according to its global director of operations Mike O’Gara, who indicated that it could utilize a separate chassis from its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship car.

The team, running under the Cadillac Racing banner, was granted two entries for the French endurance classic, with the No. 3 Cadillac of Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais and a third, to-be-confirmed driver joining the full season FIA World Endurance Championship No. 2 entry of Richard Westbrook, Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn.

“We had to plan for it no matter what,” O’Gara told Sportscar365 in regards to the second Le Mans entry. “Now that it’s confirmed, the pressure is on to actually deliver. Equipment, trucks, all that stuff is underway.”

While fellow WeatherTech Championship entrant Porsche Penske Motorsport will be utilizing one of its IMSA-based chassis for its third car at Le Mans, O’Gara said it remains to be determined on their exact approach for the second car.

He confirmed the team now has a total of four Dallara-built chassis, including its original test car that’s not been updated to the latest specification.

The big holdup comes with the proximity of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, which falls just two weeks after Le Mans, that would require any team to air-freight their Le Mans car to New York.

“We’re trying to figure out if we update [the test car] and make it the spare for Le Mans or the second car at Le Mans,” O’Gara said. “There’s still a lot to be figured out.

“We would choose, if we can logistically, to leave the IMSA car together after Laguna and it just be sitting, waiting [for Watkins Glen].

“With the [Ford] GT program we never had that luxury, so the cars we shipped over had to get back in time for Watkins Glen.

“It would save money and heartache if we can keep our IMSA stuff separate from our WEC stuff. We’ll see. We’ve got to look at a calendar. It’s big money to air-freight a car back and forth now.

“It’s many times more expensive than it was when we did this a few years ago.

“We just have to keep all of that in mind. Sometimes it’s more cost-effective just to buy second sets of equipment and leave it over [in Europe] than it is to air freight things back and forth.”

O’Gara said the ‘Super Sebring’ event is serving as the “handoff” for its European-bound WEC equipment, with the team anticipating to move into its new workshop in Germany shortly after the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

“We’re getting closer every day,” he said. “We’re not physically in there but it all exists and it’s there. After this event there’s a full container of stuff leaving here and going over there.

“This is sort of our handoff. We have four trucks down here this weekend just shuffling things back and forth.”

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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