CGR Establishes German Base for Cadillac Hypercar Program – Sportscar365

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Chip Ganassi Racing will establish a base in Germany for its FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar class program, and work is underway to build the infrastructure, according to Mike O’Gara, the team’s director of operations.

The championship-winning sportscar and IndyCar team will drive Cadillac Racing’s full-season solo entry in the WEC next year for drivers Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, along with an anticipated second Cadillac V-LMDh for the 24 Hours of Le man. awaiting an invitation from the ACO.

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

“I’m going to Germany on Sunday to check out some race shops. Staff get together, trailers, all those things move fast.

“It’s all in the works.”

The program marks CGR’s first internal WEC effort, as UK-based Multimatic Motorsports ran the factory Ford GT program that ran under the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing banner in the World Championship from 2016-19.

“It’s an internal deal, 100 percent,” O’Gara said. “Hiring Stefan to take care of that, he has WEC experience, he lives in Germany. We will be much more involved than with the Multimatic program.

“We will have some people from Europe and supplemented by some of our American people on the race weekends themselves.

“But it’s all part of that one team thing [for Cadillac Racing] to make sure everyone is on the same wavelength.”

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

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

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

“Then we enter Sebring and hopefully Le Mans with two cars. We will see.”

Three-driver Daytona lineup prepares for Le Mans

CGR’s decision to use three-driver setups in both Cadillacs at the Rolex 24 was largely based on compliance with the rules at Le Mans, which, unlike the WeatherTech Championship season opener, prohibits four-driver teams.

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

“We drove three [at the Rolex 24], we rode four; there are benefits to each. But we just wanted to start with our endurance line-up and continue that for here, Sebring and Le Mans.”

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

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

Fellow Cadillac squad Action Express Racing would also submit a request to participate in Le Mans, but like the second CGR car, it is subject to ACO approval.

John Dayys is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sportscar365. Dagys was a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel for eight years and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Please contact Jan

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