Chip Ganassi Racing announced Monday (Nov. 16) that the team will return to competition in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021. The team has reached a deal to field a Cadillac DPi-V.R. for the full season.
“We can’t wait to get back to IMSA and fight for the overall win after several years competing in the GTLM class,” Ganassi said in a press release. “Our relationship with General Motors has expanded from the NASCAR Cup Series and we couldn’t be happier. Partnering with Cadillac is a tremendous opportunity for our team and we want to start delivering for them in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.”
Ganassi re-entering the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a Cadillac maintains the current setup of four full-time Cadillacs in the series. Wayne Taylor Racing, which has fielded a Cadillac for the last four years, was chosen as one of the two teams that will field an Acura ARX-05 full-time in 2021.
While CGR is best known for their INDYCAR and NASCAR operations, they have a fairly substantial history in sports car racing as well. Most recently, they ran the factory Ford GT program. That was a four-car operation with two cars running full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (No. 66 for Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, No. 67 for Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook) and two cars running in the FIA World Endurance Championship (No. 66 for Stefan Muecke and Andy Priaulx (pictured above when Ganassi bid farewell to Daytona Prototypes in 2016), No. 67 for Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell). CGR had more control over the IMSA wing of the team. The WEC wing raced under the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing name, but was more under the auspices of Multimatic.
In four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship seasons, the Ford GTs claimed 13 class victories and 32 podium finishes. In three seasons in the WEC, the team posted six class victories and 20 podium finishes. The biggest of those wins was in 2016 when the No. 68 Ford GT won the GTE-Pro class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Neither team won a championship, but they were very competitive.
Prior to 2016, Chip Ganassi Racing ran a Daytona Prototype from the beginning of 2004 until the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Over that time, the team won 45 races (40 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and five in what is now the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship) and earned 101 podium finishes (89 of which came in the Rolex Series). The team also won five Rolex Series championships (2004, 2008 and 2010-2012). The now-retired Scott Pruett won all five titles, one with Max Papis (2004) and four with Memo Rojas, who competed this season in the European Le Mans Series.
No drivers or sponsorship were announced in Ganassi’s press release. That information will be made available in the coming weeks.