Cadillac completes 24-hour test at Sebring

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadillac V-LMDh ran the equivalent of two 12 Hours of Sebring races on the full-length iteration of the track this week, with the AXR Cadillac also in action.

Cadillac completes 24-hour test at Sebring
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Sebring will feature the second round of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the legendary 12 Hours as well as the 1000-mile season-opener for the World Endurance Championship, and Ganassi will run a car in each.

Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande will pilot the Ganassi #01 Cadillac full-time in the IMSA GTP category, while Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber make up the team’s WEC line-up. Richard Westbrook will be the third man in the WEC entry, while Ganassi’s IndyCar legend Scott Dixon will likely take up his usual role of “extra” in IMSA’s endurance rounds. Both Ganassi Cadillacs will be on the grid for the IMSA season-opener, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, and all six drivers were in action at the Sebring test.

“It was good to come to Sebring to put the new car through its paces and see what it will do in the harshest environment it will race, in terms of surface,” Cadillac Racing assistant program manager Kalvin Parker said. “It was also beneficial for the team to see how it functions as a unit over 24 hours with a new car with new systems.”

With Action Express Racing also running a test program in another Cadillac for Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims, Parker observed: “It was helpful to have one car running the full 24 hours and have the other car run a very successful test plan that included some night running to get drivers used to the new headlights in changing track conditions.”

Lynn commented: “For every driver and every member of the crew, there is no other way to really get to know your machinery than having track time like this. The team sends you out and says, ‘You have two hours, go explore.’ Once the season starts, every run has something to learn, so exploring and learning on your own is a nice feeling, especially when you’re starting to look for more performance.”

Sims, who arguably has most to learn having joined AXR after spending the last several seasons racing GT cars in IMSA and WEC, as well as running Formula E full-time, said: “It’s really good to experience the car at Sebring with the challenges the track presents with the bumps and explore and understand what the car does in those situations.

“We’ve gone through a fair few changes and we’re making good improvements. This is another step on from Road Atlanta where the car is more in tune with me at speed and I feel quite comfortable with what it’s doing. The car is performing well.”

The Cadillac V-LMDh, has logged nearly 19,000 kilometers [11,800 miles] since its maiden on-track test in July. Its first public runs will be in the Jan. 20-22 Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi and the Cadillac Racing team.

Chip Ganassi and the Cadillac Racing team.

Photo by: Andy Hedrick for Cadillac Communications

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