Race Weekend Central

Cadillac Rounds Out WeatherTech Lineup With Scott Dixon, Jack Aitken

Cadillac Racing confirmed their driver lineups for January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona Thursday (Dec. 1). Chip Ganassi Racing will field two new Cadillac V-LMDhs in the race.  The full-time No. 01 Cadillac will be shared by returning teammates Sebastien Bourdais (pictured above during LMDh testing in October) and Renger van der Zande. They will be joined once again by six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon.

Dixon has already had the chance to drive the V-LMDh at Sebring International Raceway in a private test. He came away from that test with a positive outlook.

“Being part of the endurance test with no real issues, it’s hit the ground well,” Dixon said in a press release. “Good power and the drivability is really nice, which is what you’d expect from what Cadillac has done before with a normally aspirated V8. Honestly, the car seems really reliable and ready to go. There are a lot of new systems to get used to and it’s a big car, but fun to drive.”

Dixon drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in two races in 2022. At Daytona, he finished seventh after the team ran into mechanical problems with their Cadillac DPi-V.R. At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Dixon finished fourth in the Motul Petit Le Mans.

Despite never competing in sports car racing full-time, this will mark Dixon’s 20th start in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. All but one of his previous 19 starts have been with Ganassi.

He has won the race overall three times. The first came in 2006 in a Ganassi Lexus-powered Riley Mk. XI with Casey Mears and Dan Wheldon. In 2015, Dixon shared a Ford EcoBoost-powered Riley DPG3 alongside Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and Tony Kanaan. The other was in 2020 for Wayne Taylor Racing with Ryan Briscoe, Kamui Kobayashi and van der Zande in a Cadillac DPi-V.R. Dixon also has a class victory in the GT Le Mans class back in 2018 with Briscoe and Westbrook.

The full-time No. 01 Cadillac will be joined by the previously announced No. 02. This team will run full-time in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2023. 2022 teammates Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn will drive that car alongside Richard Westbrook, who joins the team from JDC-Miller MotorSports.

At Action Express Racing, full-time drivers Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims will be joined in the Michelin Endurance Cup events by Jack Aitken for 2023, who will be making his IMSA debut in Daytona. Aitken is quite excited for his new adventure.

Aitken is likely best known as a driver that formerly raced in Formula 2 as recently as 2021. For 2020, Aitken signed on as a reserve driver for Williams in Formula 1 in addition to his F2 duties. When Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020 and was forced to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix, Mercedes called up George Russell (a Williams driver at the time) to replace him.

See also
George Russell Replacing Lewis Hamilton at Sakhir, Jack Aitken to Drive for Williams

Aitken, as Williams’ reserve driver, got the call to replace Russell. In his sole World Championship start, Aitken finished 16th.

More recently, Aitken has transitioned to sports car racing. In 2021, he drove for Emil Frey Racing in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, both the Sprint Cup and Endurance Cup in addition to his F2 responsibilities. While Aitken raced competitively in his Lamborghini, his season came to a premature end after this crash during the Total 24 Hours of Spa in the tricky Eau Rouge-Radillion complex.

Aitken suffered a broken collarbone in the crash, in addition to a broken vertebra and a lung contusion. These injuries ended his 2021 season both in sports cars and F2.

This past season, Aitken raced in the European Le Mans Series’ LMP2 Pro-Am subclass alongside Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc in five of the six races (he had to miss Spa-Francorchamps due to a conflict with the ADAC GT Masters weekend at the Sachsenring in Germany). His best finish was sixth in LMP2 at Portimao, but claimed three subclass victories.

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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