Chip Ganassi Racing revealed its full driver lineups Friday (Jan. 7) for this month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. As previously announced back in October, the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R. will be shared for the full season by the returning Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais. The new No. 02 Cadillac will be shared by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn.
Bourdais and van der Zande will be joined by some championship muscle. Defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou will join the full timers in the No. 01 Cadillac, along with six-time INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon.
For Palou, Daytona will be his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut. His background is primarily in open-wheel racing, having competed in Super Formula and Japanese Formula 3 before moving to the NTT IndyCar Series at the start of 2020. He has very little full-fendered experience. The most recent applicable experience would be his time racing in SuperGT’s GT300 class in 2019. There, he finished 15th in points in a McLaren 720S GT3.
Dixon brings a lot of experience to the table. He has 18 previous starts in the Rolex 24. In that time, Dixon has three overall wins in very different equipment. He won overall for Ganassi in 2006 in a Lexus-powered Riley Mk. XI alongside Casey Mears and the late Dan Wheldon. His second win was in 2015 in a Ford EcoBoost-powered Riley DPG3 shared with Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray. The most recent overall win was for Wayne Taylor Racing in a Cadillac DPi-V.R. in 2020 alongside van der Zande, Ryan Briscoe and Kamui Kobayashi.
In the No. 02 Cadillac, Bamber and Lynn will be joined by Kevin Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson. Magnussen drove alongside van der Zande in the No. 01 last season. The duo scored a victory at Detroit. Magnussen ended up seventh in points after testing positive for COVID-19 and having to sit out the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Magnussen also drove in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last August along with his father Jan and Anders Fjordbach in an LMP2-class ORECA 07-Gibson for High Class Racing. The trio would finish 29th overall, 17th in the LMP2 class.
Ericsson has no sports car racing experience on his resume. His background is almost solely in open-wheel racing. 2021 was his best year to date in the NTT IndyCar Series. Ericsson claimed his first two victories, both under unusual circumstances. Ericsson inherited the lead at Belle Isle Park when Will Power‘s car refused to refire after a late red flag. In Nashville, Ericsson recovered after this wild incident to win the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.
While a number of the drivers already had a chance to do some testing at Daytona International Speedway back in December, the official preseason test, the ROAR Before the 24, is scheduled for Jan. 21-23. Frontstretch will have coverage of the open test and the qualifying race in two weeks.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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