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Chip Ganassi Racing Returning To IMSA Competition In 2021 With Cadillac



Chip Ganassi Racing

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Seven-time Champions Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) are returning to IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car competition following a year hiatus from the sport.

CGR is partnering with Cadillac to field a Daytona Prototype international (DPi) entry beginning in 2021.

“We are very excited to welcome Chip Ganassi Racing to the Cadillac competition family,” said Rory Harvey, Cadillac Vice President. “Their success across many forms of racing, including sports cars, will be a great addition to our IMSA WeatherTech line-up.”

“Partnering with Cadillac is a tremendous opportunity for our team and we want to start delivering for them in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said team owner Chip Ganassi.

CGR has the greatest stretch in Rolex 24 At Daytona history highlighted by eight wins and three second-place finishes from 2006-2018.  Ganassi is the only team owner in history to win three-straight Rolex 24 At Daytonas (2006-2008).

“We can’t wait to get back to IMSA and fight for the overall win after several years competing in the GTLM class,” said Ganassi, who last partnered with Ford Motor Company to field Ford GT’s in IMSA and the World Endurance Championship (WEC).  That partnership resulted in several GTLM class wins including the prestigious 24-Hours of Le Mans.

In 2020, Cadillac scored its fourth consecutive Rolex 24 At Daytona win, and followed with wins at Sebring and Petit Le Mans en route to a second-place finish in the Championship.

Three Rivers Karting

In 2019, they scored wins at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach and Petit Le Mans.

The 2018 season saw the program win the Rolex 24 At Daytona en route to the Prototype Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championships.

The program began in 2017 when Cadillac teams won every title in the inaugural season of the IMSA DPi formula including a one-two-three sweep of the Driver Championship, along with the Team and Manufacturers titles.

CGR has seven Championships (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) and 64 race wins to their credit since their introduction to sports car racing in 2004.

“Chip’s pedigree at winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona eight times as well as their championships in this form of racing gives Cadillac another stalwart team to compete for the 2021 IMSA DPi championship,” said Harvey.

Ganassi is already a member of the General Motors family as the NASCAR operation fields Chevrolet’s.

“Our relationship with General Motors has expanded from the NASCAR Cup Series and we couldn’t be happier,” said Ganassi.

Driver lineups and partnership details will be announced at a later date.

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Sports Cars

Acura’s Top Speed Charts In Roar Practice At Daytona



Photo: IMSA

DAYTONA, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Acura’s topped the speed charts in two practice sessions Friday at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Tom Blomqvist turned the fastest lap of the day, 1 minute, 34.351 seconds (135.833 mph), over Daytona’s 3.56-mile road course in the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 DPi.

“We didn’t have a great morning, but we chipped away at it all day long and the car was just getting better and better with every lap,” said Blomqvist. “Obviously, that’s a positive to take into the next couple of days.”

Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura posted the second-fastest lap of the day, 1:34.687 (135.351 mph) with Filipe Albuquerque behind the wheel.  WTR has 4-wins in the last 5-Rolex 24’s, including three consecutive victories.

Three Rivers Karting

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadillac’s were third and fourth on the speed charts, less than 4-tenths of a second off the top spot.  2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Alex Palou, who is making his sports car debut, turned the fastest lap in the No. 01 Cadillac V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi V.R., at 1:34.712 (135.315 mph).

Palou will share the driving duties this weekend with full-time IMSA driver’s Renger van der Zande and Sebastian Bourdais and will be joined in the endurance events by 6-time INDYCAR Champion Scott Dixon.

CGR’s No. 02 Caddy was right behind the teammates as Earl Bamber turned the fourth fastest lap of the day, 1:34.746 (135.267 mph).  Bamber will be joined for the ’22 season by Alex Lynn with CGR INDYCAR driver Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen sharing the driving duties this weekend.

A third practice is set for 10 a.m. ET Saturday, ahead of qualifying at 3:25 p.m. to determine the starting grid for Sunday’s 100-minute race that sets the field for the Rolex 24. A final night practice runs from 7-9 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday’s qualifying race airs live at 2 p.m. on Peacock and IMSA Radio.

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Sports Cars

Whelen Engineering Cadillac Wins At Watkins Glen




WATKINS GLEN, NY (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A fuel-only pit stop late in the race saved the Whelen Engineering team valuable time on pit road and enabled them to take the lead and win the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at The Glen.

We are so limited on the capacity that we don’t have the luxury to go flat out all the time, but that second yellow helped us out big time,” said Felipe Nasr, who along with co-driver Pipo Derani picked up their first win of the season.

Three Rivers Karting

The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac of Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen finished second, 1.473-seconds behind the No. 31 Caddy.

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura DPi ARX-05 driven by Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor finished third, increasing its lead in the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class to 81 points over the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi and drivers Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis.

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Sports Cars

Chip Ganassi’s Sports Car team back in victory lane after win in Detroit



IMSA Wire Service

DETROIT, MI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kevin Magnussen and Renger Van der Zande put CGR SportsCar back in victory lane Saturday by winning the IMSA race.

The victory was the first in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Magnussen, who joined the series in the offseason after seven seasons in F1. It also let Magnussen join his dad, veteran racer Jan Magnussen, as an IMSA race winner.

“It feels great,” said Magnussen, who also won his first Motul Pole Award on Friday. “This weekend has been extremely good on the team side. We’ve just been fast. I’d say the whole season we’ve been fast. We just haven’t been able to get to the end in the lead. We’ve led a lot of laps this year. Finally, we led the right lap.”

Van der Zande was leading a fierce duel with Felipe Nasr as the yellow flag waved when the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW stopped on track. When the 100-minute race resumed with 2 minutes 50 seconds left, Van der Zande accelerated away from Nasr, getting enough of a gap to win the race by 0.573 seconds.

Three Rivers Karting

“The track got really slippery in those last two, three laps,” said Van der Zande. “I had some really big moments, and I think the guy behind me, Nasr, also had some big moments.”

Saturday’s victory was Ganassi’s 60th in IMSA competition and second of the day as Marcus Ericsson picked up his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race earlier in the day at Belle Isle.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that this (IMSA) team was put together at the last minute in the fall of last year,” Ganassi said. “I think we bring a little to the party as a team, and they bring some things as a driver. I think it’s that combination. There are a lot of guys who are fast, and they don’t get opportunities sometimes. You’ve got to find guys at the right time in their career that need an opportunity to excel and bloom, if you will, and to expose their talents.”

The No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R co-driven by Nasr and Pipo Derani finished second followed by the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 shared by Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, who lead the WeatherTech Championship DPi standings by 71-points over the No. 55 Mazda of Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis, who finished fourth.

The WeatherTech Championship resumes June 24-27 with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

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