Aitken, Dixon complete roster for the competition debut of car in endurance race
DETROIT (Dec. 1, 2022) — An all-star driver roster will represent Cadillac Racing in the 61st anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2023, at Daytona International Speedway.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener on the 2.56-mile, 12-turn road course will mark the competition debut of the sleek and powerful Cadillac V-LMDh in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class.
Cadillac Racing is pleased to announce that Jack Aitken and Scott Dixon will complete the Cadillac V-LMDh lineup for the first of four endurance races on the IMSA schedule.
Williams F1 reserve driver Aitken will co-drive the Action Express Racing-prepared Cadillac V-LMDh with 2021 IMSA champion Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims.
“All of us at Action Express Racing are thrilled to have Jack join our team as our endurance driver,” Action Express team manager Gary Nelson said. “We have won six IMSA Endurance Championships and five IMSA overall championships in the past nine years. Strong runs throughout the endurance events are critical for both championships. We are expecting great things in 2023 and with Jack’s help we can’t wait to get started on our sixth overall and seventh endurance championships.”
Four-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Dixon will again join Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande for the twice-around-the-clock event in one of the Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared entries.
“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the most significant race of the IMSA schedule that happens to also be the first race of the year,” Chip Ganassi Racing director of operations Mike O’Gara said. “Scott brings a level of stability since he’s been with us for 20-plus years. He’s the steady guy who provides a good perspective to hop in the race car and give us a fresh, reliable outlook. He’s not an extra driver to get us through the 24-hour race. He adding to the program even though he’s only driving the car a few times a year.”
Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook – previously announced for the Cadillac V-LMDh entry in the seven FIA World Endurance Championship races for 2023 – will co-drive the second Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared car at Daytona.
All nine drivers are scheduled to participate in the IMSA-sanctioned test Dec. 6-7 at Daytona International Speedway ahead of the Jan. 20-22 Roar Before the Rolex 24.
Aitken, 27, competed in the European Le Mans Series in 2022, driving for TF Sport in the LMP2 class, and competed in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and ADAC GT Masters with Emil Frey Racing. He also made his Le Mans 24 Hour debut in LMP2 with Algarve Pro Racing. Aitken, the 2015 Formula Renault Eurocup champion, has been a Williams F1 reserve driver since 2020.
“The prospect of working with Action Express and Cadillac on the V-LMDh program had me gripped as soon as it became a possibility and working to make that a reality over the past weeks has only solidified my opinion that we’ll be taking on a fantastic calendar of events with an extremely motivated and top-level crew,” Aitken said. “It will be a true pleasure to represent a brand like Cadillac at a time when the endurance world is entering what many are calling a golden era of sports car racing. I cannot wait to start work with everyone, including my teammates Pipo and Alex, who’ve been very welcoming already.”
Dixon, a six-time INDYCAR champion and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, will enter his 23rd season driving for Chip Ganassi Racing – the longest-tenured driver in team history.
He co-drove a Cadillac DPi-V.R with Bourdais and van der Zande in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Motul Petit Le Mans endurance races in 2022. Among his Rolex 24 wins is an overall title in 2020 in a Cadillac DPi-V.R.
“I find sports car racing very enjoyable, especially once you get into these endurance races you’re driving the car a lot. I just love driving cars and being a part of interesting and high-end experiences like these with Cadillac,” Dixon said. “It’s a great fit and ultimately the pure love of racing.”
Dixon drove the Cadillac V-LMDh for the first time last month during an endurance test at Sebring International Raceway.
“Being part of the endurance test with no real issues, it’s hit the ground well,” he said. “Good power and the drivability is really nice, which is what you’d expect from what Cadillac has done before with a normally aspirated V8,” he said. “Honestly, the car seems really reliable and ready to go. There are a lot of new systems to get used to and it’s a big car, but fun to drive.”
Cadillac V-LMDh roster for the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona
Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon
Bourdais and van der Zande co-drove to three IMSA victories in 2022 and Bourdais earned four pole starts. … van der Zande co-drove a Cadillac DPi to victory in the 2019 and 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona. He has 18 wins in IMSA – including eight with Cadillac Racing — and 21 podium finishes. … Bourdais, a four-time INDYCAR champion, returned in 2022 to the Ganassi team where he drove in its GT Le Mans program from 2016-19. He co-drove to victory in the 2014 and ’17 Rolex 24. … Bourdais has 10 IMSA victories. … Dixon, a six-time INDYCAR champion, is a four-time winner in the Rolex 24, including 2020 co-driving a Cadillac DPi-V.R. He co-drove with Bourdais and van der Zande in the Rolex 24 and the Petit Le Mans in 2022.
Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Richard Westbrook
Bamber and Lynn return as teammates for the second season with Chip Ganassi Racing. They co-drove a Cadillac DPi-V.R to victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2022. It was Lynn’s second win (2017) in a Cadillac DPi-V.R at the track. … He has competed in a partial WEC schedule since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020 and at Spa in 2017 and ‘18. … Bamber is a two-time winner at Le Mans as part of the Porsche LMP1 program. He drove to the 2019 WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans title. … Westbrook co-drove a Cadillac DPi-V.R in 2022 for JDC-Miller MotorSports, placing third in Rolex 24, second at Sebring and third at Long Beach. He co-drove to an overall third-place finish at Le Mans in 2022.
Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims, Jack Aitken
Derani, the 2021 IMSA DPi champion and 2019 IMSA DPi Endurance champion, has six victories in a Cadillac DPi-V.R since joining Action Express Racing in 2019. … He and Sims enter their first race as teammates in the Cadillac V-LMDh. … Sims rejoins IMSA competition in upcoming season. He scored five race wins in GTLM class in 2017-18. He is a race winner in the FIA Formula E World Championship and past competitor in FIA World Endurance Championship with Chevrolet Corvette Racing. … Aitken competed in European Le Mans in 2022 for Racing Team Turkey in the LMP2 Pro-Am class with one victory and one pole. He made his Le Mans 24 Hour debut in the LMP2 class. Aitken, the 2015 Formula Renault Eurocup champion, has been a Williams F1 reserve driver since 2020.
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