No. 01 Cadillac Finishes Runner-Up at Petit Le Mans, as Cadillac Wins Manufacturer TitleIMSA
The No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R, driven by Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande, finished P2 in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race today.
Cadillac's fifth Manufacturer Championship since 2017 was secured when the No. 01 Cadillac finished second among the 52 total entries that tackled the endurance race, the most in the history of the event.
"The Chip Ganassi Racing 01 Cadillac was definitely the car to beat today and unfortunately, we got beat. We led most of the race and one small restart caught us out and cost us the win," said Director of Operations Mike O'Gara. "We're happy to finish on the podium and we're happy to help Cadillac win the Manufacturer Championship. Super happy for Cadillac, Dallara, Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express to have a strong year. The 01 didn't have the year that we wanted, but collectively, the Cadillac group won the Manufacturer Championship, the Team Championship and the Endurance Championship. That's due to a lot of teamwork and hard work and we're happy to be a part of it. We've got some work to do in the offseason and we're going to come back even stronger and try to double up on these championships."
Bourdais, Dixon and van der Zande combined to lead 223 of the 397 overall laps across the endurance race. Bourdais impressively laid down the race's quickest lap (1:10.917 on lap 312) under the night sky.
Bourdais: “It was a great day for Cadillac in the first season of GTP. We managed to not get hit and stay out of trouble, which put us in good shape. It’s a shame the way the yellows fell. It seemed like it was ours to lose and coming in second really hurts. Overall, the package was strong during the day when the sun came out and stronger when night fell and temperatures came down."
Dixon: “For me, the goal was to off-load the car to my teammates in one piece. The Cadillac was super fast all race, really consistent with a good all-around effort by the team. Being the third guy, you want to make sure you’re up to speed because these cars are pretty technical. My two stints I had a lot of fun. Led the first one and got beat out on the second, and just tried to bring the tires in slowly and save them. Our pace was really good; we could have pushed a lot harder. The yellows come out at inopportune times, but that’s racing. Congratulations to Cadillac.”
van der Zande: "Helping clinch the overall GTP championship and IMEC championship for Cadillac is great because we didn’t have many great moments this year aside from Laguna Seca. To have the championships with Cadillac is a testament to the whole program. The car was really fast today, and in the last race of the season after having so much bad luck, we put it all together."
Starting the race from P2, Sebastien Bourdais promptly took the lead with an impressive move on the outside of turn one on the opening lap in the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R. He began to build a solid gap before a full-course yellow came out at the end of the lap, due to the No. 8 (LMP2) skidding off the damp track and hitting the wall.
Bourdais soon led the field back to green and would hold on to the race lead for the opening hour of action at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course in Braselton, Georgia.
With eight hours and 47 minutes remaining, a significant multi-car collision involving the No. 6 (GTP), the No. 20 (LMP2) and the No. 70 (GTD) led to a full-course yellow. Bourdais then brought the No. 01 Cadillac to the pits for the team's first stop of the endurance race.
Bourdais continued to press forward and held a P2 position as the race hit the quarter mark. Then, after a three-hour stint, Bourdais handed driving duties over to Renger van der Zande while the Chip Ganassi Racing team replaced all four tires and refueled the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R. Exhibiting superb pace in the early hours of the race, Bourdais set the benchmark with the fastest lap of any competitor during his stint (1:11.317 on lap nine).
Van der Zande made his move for the race lead through dense traffic just before the No. 14 (GTD Pro) went off-track and caused a full-course yellow with 5 hours and 55 minutes left. He then brought the No. 01 Cadillac to the pits just a few minutes later and emerged as the leader with the race going green thereafter.
At the halfway point of the the 10-hour endurance race, the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R team maintained the lead with van der Zande behind the wheel.
Six-time INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon jumped in to pilot the No. 01 with four hours and 44 minutes remaining. Over a span of one hour and 52 minutes on the road course, Dixon pushed the pace and ultimately established a 2.2-second advantage as Bourdais geared up for his second shift in the car.
Bourdais made great efforts to extend the lead and eventually returned to the pits with one hour and 25 minutes to go, as van der Zande took over driving duties.
The final hour of the race was tightly contested and featured multiple full-course yellows. As the field became tighter and tighter, van der Zande kept close to the front of the pack and eventually crossed the 10-hour mark in second place.
Source: Chip Ganassi Racing