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CGR to Establish German Base for Cadillac Hypercar Program

Former Porsche LMP1 engineer Stephen Mitas to serve as team manager of CGR’s WEC program…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Chip Ganassi Racing will be establishing a base in Germany for its FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar class program, with work underway on building up its infrastructure according to the team’s director of operations Mike O’Gara.

The championship-winning sports car and IndyCar squad will operate Cadillac Racing’s solo full-season entry in the WEC next year for drivers Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, alongside an expected second Cadillac V-LMDh for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, pending an invite from the ACO.

“It’s coming along,” O’Gara told Sportscar365 during last week’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway. “We’ve hired a manager; his name is Stephen Mitas. He was a huge part of the Porsche LMP1 program.

“I’m heading to Germany on Sunday to go look at some race shops over there. Personnel is coming together, trailers, all that stuff is happening quickly.

“It’s all in the works.”

The program will mark CGR’s first in-house WEC effort, as UK-based Multimatic Motorsports operated the factory Ford GT program from 2016-19 that ran under the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing banner in the world championship.

“It’s an in-house deal, 100 percent,” O’Gara said. “Hiring Stephen to look after that, he’s got WEC experience, he lives in Germany. We’ll have a lot more involvement than we did on the Multimatic program.

“We’ll have some European-based people and supplementing with some of our U.S. folks on the race weekends themselves.

“But it’s all part of this one-team thing [for Cadillac Racing] to make sure everybody’s on the same page.”

O’Gara said the WEC team’s integration will begin at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24, where it will help field a second Cadillac entry with its Hypercar class drivers.

No further WeatherTech Championship outings are currently planned for the No. 02 Cadillac, which will kick off its WEC season at the 1000 Miles of Sebring in March.

“WEC personnel will be in our shop helping build the cars and the plan is to have a lot of the WEC staff here for Daytona as well,” O’Gara said.

“We’ll then roll into Sebring and hopefully Le Mans with two cars. We’ll see.”

Three-Driver Daytona Lineup Prep for Le Mans

CGR’s decision to utilize three-driver lineups in both of its Cadillacs at the Rolex 24 was largely based on conforming to the rules at Le Mans, which unlike the WeatherTech Championship season-opener, prohibits four-driver squads.

“When you go to Le Mans you can only run three drivers so we figure that Daytona is a good way to get into that cadence of the driver rotation and get them used to how long they’re going to be in the car and all that,” O’Gara explained.

“We’ve run three [at the Rolex 24], we’ve run four; there are benefits to each. But we just wanted to start our endurance lineup and carry that through for here, Sebring and Le Mans.”

When asked if CGR has submitted a Le Mans entry request for its IMSA-based entry, O’Gara said it’s a “Cadillac decision.”

“We’re just trying to be as prepared as we can on our side and we’ll see,” he added.

Fellow Cadillac squad Action Express Racing is also understood to be submitting an entry request for Le Mans but like the second CGR car, is subject to ACO approval.

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

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