IMSA: Cadillac bringing 5-car attack to Rolex 24

Cadillac Racing’s initial steps to successfully defending its Daytona Prototype international (DPi) Manufacturer, Team and Driver titles in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be taken this week at the Roar Before the Rolex 24.

Drivers for five Cadillac DPi-V.R entries will get a handle on the powerful and nimble race cars during two days of practice on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course before a 100-minute race for the Motul Pole Award sets the grid for the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29.

#31: Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi, DPi: Tristan Nunez, Pipo Derani, Mike Conway – LAT Images for IMSA

“The 2022 season is going to be awesome and we’re looking forward to getting on track,” said GM Sports Car Racing Program Manager Laura Wontrop Klauser, who recently was named “Person of the Year” by l’Automoibile magazine. “Cadillac Racing has a strong team and driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and the Roar is an important part of the process of getting race ready.”

A Cadillac DPi-V.R has won the overall Rolex 24 At Daytona title four times since the latest iteration of the prototype class was instituted in 2017. The fifth victory will tie Ferrari for third place on the all-time list.

5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac of Tristan Vautier, Richard Westbrook, Loic Duval, Ben Keating – Image by Cadillac/Richard Prince

Cadillac Racing DPi-V.R Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona lineup with team affiliation:

No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R (Chip Ganassi Racing)

Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon, Alex Palou

No. 02 Cadillac Accessories Cadillac DPi-V.R (Chip Ganassi Racing)

Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Marcus Ericsson, Kevin Magnussen

No. 5 JDC-Miller Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R (JDC-Miller MotorSports)

Tristan Vautier, Richard Westbrook, Loic Duval, Ben Keating

No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R (Action Express Racing)

Tristan Nunez, Pipo Derani, Mike Conway

No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R (Action Express Racing with Hendrick Motorsports)

Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Pipo Derani, who returns to co-drive the No. 31 Wheldon Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, will be joined for the full season by Tristan Nunez as Action Express Racing seeks to claim its second consecutive Driver and Team Championships. The No. 31 Cadillac started from the pole in the 2021 race.

#01: Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi , DPi: Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Alex Palou – LAT Images for IMSA

“We are excited to get back racing,” team manager Gary Nelson said. “I am very proud of our team; everyone showed up at the shop for work before dawn on the Monday after the weekend that we secured the championship back in November. Since that Monday, the team has worked very hard to prepare everything for the Whelen Engineering No. 31 Cadillac and the Ally No. 48 Cadillac.”

Action Express Racing will field the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R in association with reigning NASCAR Cup Series championship Hendrick Motorsports in the four endurance races. With seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson co-driving, the No. 48 Cadillac DPi-V.R finished second overall in the 2021 Rolex 24.

“Last season we finished second just a few seconds back. We have such a strong lineup. This is a huge opportunity for me,” said Johnson, who will make his ninth Rolex 24 At Daytona start.

The Cadillac Racing lineup fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing expands to two cars for the 2022 season. Renger van der Zande, the 2016 IMSA Prototype Challenge driver champion and two-time Rolex 24 winner, returns behind the wheel of the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R. He will be joined for the full complement of events by four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais. Six-time INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon and 2021 INDYCAR title-winner Alex Palou join for the first endurance race to form a “Champions Cadillac” entry.

“It’s going to be an exciting season,” said Bourdais, who co-drove to an overall Rolex 24 victory in 2014 and a class win with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2017. “I have great teammates with Renger, Scott and Alex for this race that everyone wants to win. I can’t wait to get going.”

Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Earl Bamber and versatile driver Alex Lynn are the full-season drivers in the No. 02 Cadillac Accessories DPi-V.R. Kevin Magnussen, van der Zande’s teammate in the No. 01 last season, and IndyCar Series driver Marcus Ericsson will co-drive the No. 02 for the Rolex 24.

JDC-Miller MotorSports, which won the 2021 Twelve Hours of Sebring, will seek to add to its victory total with Tristan Vautier continuing his full time driver in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R.

Sixteen-time IMSA race winner Richard Westbrook will join Vautier for every event, while Loic Duval shifts from a full-season role to co-driving in endurance races. Ben Keating, the 2021 Le Mans Prototype 2 champion, will be the team’s fourth driver for the Rolex 24.

“It feels great to be going into our fourth year together in the Cadillac DPi-V.R,” Vautier said. “I really look forward to partnering with Loic again, and a very warm welcome to Richard and Ben.”

On-track activity is Jan. 21-23, which includes test sessions and the 100-minute qualifying race that sets the Rolex 24 starting grid. Peacock will stream the qualifying session live at 2 p.m. ET. Rolex 24 race week runs Jan. 27-30, with the twice-around-the-clock event starting at 1:40 p.m. ET Jan. 29.