Chip Ganassi Racing adds Sebastien Bourdais in IMSA; expands to second Cadillac
Four-time IndyCar champion Sebastien Bourdais will join Chip Ganassi Racing full time in IMSA next season as the DPi team expands to a second Cadillac.
Renger van der Zande will return to Ganassi, which returned to IMSA in 2021 with the No. 01 Cadillac entry after exiting the GT class in 2019. Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn also will join the CGR IMSA team as full-time drivers as Kevin Magnussen exits the organization after a season as van der Zande’s teammate.
Ganassi will announce its driver pairings and endurance drivers before the 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Bourdais, who drove part and full time in the NTT IndyCar Series the past two seasons for A.J. Foyt Racing, made three IMSA starts in 2021 with JDC-Miller Motorsports. The Frenchman had the closing drive with the No. 5 Cadillac for a victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
He drove a Ford GT for Ganassi from 2017-19, helping secure a class win in the 2017 Rolex 24.
“I’m super excited to reunite with Chip Ganassi Racing,” Bourdais said in a release. “We have had our fair share of successes in the past, and I can’t wait to start working with the drivers like Renger, Earl and Alex. This is obviously a bit of a turning point in my career that will see me transitioning most of my attention to sports car racing, but I remain in the GM family. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for their trust and continued support. I am convinced Cadillac, Chip, Mike (Hull), Steve (Eriksen, team manager) and the entire team will give us all the tools we need to drive our cars to victory lane.”
In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, Bourdais indicated A.J. Foyt Racing still was working on possibly having him drive IndyCar part time in 2022.
Lynn is a veteran of Formula E and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Bamber will be making his debut with Cadillac after excelling as a Porsche driver in IMSA (winning the 2019 GTLM championship. He also won the overall 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and ’17.
“I am incredibly excited and honored to join Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing for 2022,” Bamber said in a release. “When you talk about legendary sports car racing teams you think of CGR. They’ve already won their class at Le Mans. It’s a world class team and it is amazing to see what they’ve done in their first year with the Cadillac DPi-V.R. I am also excited to race in the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.
“I don’t know who my direct teammate will be, but the lineup that the team has put together is awesome and world class. Renger is a Daytona and championship winner already. Sebastien is someone I’ve looked up to as a kid when he was in Champ Car and IndyCar. Alex with his Formula E and sports car experience is fast as well. We have a nice mix of talent from different racing series. My personal hope is to win at Daytona. It has eluded me for many years as I have finished on the podium multiple times. I would also love to win some of the other highlight races and the team and driver’s championship.”
Said van der Zande, a two-time Rolex 24 winner: “It is great news to have Sebastien, Alex, and Earl as new teammates. They are all high-class, proven race car drivers. I think they will be a good fit with the team. Sebastien has done everything in the world, he has a lot of raw speed. I know Earl very well from our junior series and he’s an LMP1 overall winner. Alex comes to us from Formula E and has a lot of sports car experience. I feel great about coming back with the Chip Ganassi Racing team. I feel more at home than ever with them. They put a lot of responsibility on everyone. Chip and Mike Hull run a great operation, that is why they have been successful. Although I can’t wait until next year, we still have Petit Le Mans coming up, so we need to finish 2021 strong.”
Magnussen and van der Zande will close out their partnership in the No. 01 during the Motul Petit Le Mans season finale Nov. 13 at Michelin Road Atlanta.