The Briton has filled one of two vacant seats on the three-car Cadillac V-LMDhs squad for Daytona on January 28/29, along with six-time IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon, who will race one of two by Chip Ganassi Racing run Cadillac Racing entries.
Aitken will race with Action Express all-season drivers Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims, while three-time Daytona winner Dixon will line up with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande in Ganassi’s regular IMSA entry.
Aitken has only been officially announced for Daytona, but quotes from both driver and team in Cadillac’s statement suggest he will be in the Action Express car for the IMSA Endurance Cup rounds at Sebring, Road Atlanta and possibly Watkins Glen.
That raises the prospect of the 27-year-old also competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Cadillac.
Cadillac’s LMDh program boss Laura Wantrop Klauser suggested in October that the General Motors brand is aiming to have its two IMSA cars on the grid in French enduro in addition to its full participation in the World Endurance Championship.
This car, also driven by Ganassi, will also contest Daytona next month with Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, the driver line-up for the WEC.
Aitken has been picked up by Cadillac after two seasons of sports car racing alongside his backup role at Williams, including racing at the 2021 Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain.
He competed in a partial schedule in the GT World Challenge Europe 2021 with the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini team and will remain with the team in 2022 for a double attack on the GTWCE Endurance Cup and the ADAC GT Masters series in Germany.
Aitken has prototyping experience by racing with TF Sport in the ELMS this season
Photo by: Eric Le Galliot
This year Aitken also drove in the TF Sport-run Racing Team Turkey ORECA-Gibson 07 LMP2 in the European Le Mans Series and made his Le Mans debut in the Algarve Pro LMP2 team.
He will be introduced to the V-LMDh, which was developed around Dallara’s next-generation LMP2 design, for the first time at next week’s official two-day LMDh sanctions test at Daytona, which will see all nine Caddy drivers race.
Aitken said: “The prospect of working with Action Express and Cadillac on the V-LMDh program had gripped me as soon as it became an opportunity and working to make that a reality over the past few weeks has only strengthened my belief that we will are embarking on a fantastic calendar of events with a highly motivated, top-level crew.
“It will be a real pleasure to represent a brand like Cadillac at a time when the endurance world is entering what many call a golden age of sports car racing.”
Action Express team manager Gary Nelson said: “We are all thrilled to have Jack join our team as our endurance driver.
“We have won six IMSA Endurance Cup titles and five IMSA overall championships over the past nine years, and strong runs in the endurance events are critical to both.
“We expect great things in 2023 and with Jack’s help we can’t wait to get started.”
Ganassi IndyCar driver Dixon takes his traditional place in the team’s Daytona roster. He has raced with the team in the opening round of the IMSA Championship every year since 2004, with the exception of 2020 when the team was absent.
Dixon will reprise his endurance role with Ganassi
Photo by: Chris Owens/Motorsport Images
Dixon won the race outright with Ganassi in 2006 and 2015, driving Lexus and Ford-powered Riley Daytona Prototypes respectively, and took a class win in 2018 with the team at the wheel of a Ford GT.
In Ganassi’s year of absence, he took his third overall win with the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac team.
This year, Dixon Ganassi’s Cadillac DPi-VR Daytona Prototype raced international at both Daytona and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, but missed Sebring as it clashed with the Texas IndyCar race.