Race Preview: Petit Le Mans



Posted on 10/11/2023

Race Preview: Petit Le Mans

Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R team will wrap up their 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race on Saturday, October 14.

The team is determined to help clinch the Manufacturer Championship for Cadillac, which would mark their fifth title since 2017. Cadillac currently sits eight points away from the top of the manufacturer standings.

Scott Dixon will enter the fold again and drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande. The trio has found success together in the black and yellow Cadillac this year, producing a podium finish at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January followed by a P4 result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

While Chip Ganassi Racing may be pursuing their first-ever Petit Le Mans victory, van der Zande clinched wins in 2020, 2018, and 2014, while Dixon won in 2020 and Bourdais won in 2015. Overall, Chip Ganassi Racing’s 64 victories in IMSA competition are the 3rd-most by any entry in series history.

Bourdais, Dixon and van der Zande teamed up for a P4 result at last year's 10-hour Road Atlanta endurance race after leading 70 laps. The No. 01 Cadillac team will be in search of a second win on the year (Laguna Seca) and their fifth over the past two seasons (2022: Long Beach; Belle Isle; CTMP).

Peacock will air complete coverage of the race from 11:40 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, while USA will broadcast the race from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. ET. 

Sebastien Bourdais: “Looking forward to the last event. It’s been a weird season for the 01 Cadillac, so it would be good to finish on a high note and get the Manufacturer Championship for Cadillac. It’s a long race and you have to have the car balanced for the day and night. A fast car during the daytime doesn't necessarily translate to being fast in the closing hour when it counts. This track is always adding an extra factor of getting comfortable to be able to go fast, and that confidence doesn’t come easy because it’s a very flowing track but also has quick corners that require commitment. So, the confidence level needs to be there to challenge the car to get it to that level. It is even more tricky when you add the traffic component.”

Scott Dixon: “I’m really looking forward to Petit. It’s a fun, but difficult race. The confines of the track are pretty tight and then you’ve got a lot of issues from turn three down the esses into turn five. It can create some action, so you definitely have to be on your toes to make sure you give people space and not try to hurt the car. It’s a fun track and a crazy race, one that we’ve led lots of times but just haven’t won it. It’s one of the toughest races of the IMSA season. We’re with a great team with great teammates. Hopefully, we can keep it in one piece and finish off the season well.”

Renger van der Zande: “Road Atlanta never disappoints; it’s always a big show. In America, if you want to see pure racing, Petit Le Mans is the one to watch. I’m looking forward to it. Our test days (in late September) were really helpful in understanding the car, not only for Petit Le Mans, but also for next year as we’re still developing the car. It’s the last race of the season, where you really want to shine. I know this place, so hopefully we’ll have a similar result and be able to give Cadillac the Manufacturer Championship.”