Ganassi Kicks Endurance Racing Silly Season into High Gear

01 cadillac racing, cadillac v seriesr, gtp renger van der zande, sebastien bourdais
Ganassi Energizes Endurance Racing Silly SeasonIMSA Photo

"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."

  • Chip Ganassi’s unexpected appearance at Watkins Glen this past weekend put the silly season for American endurance racing into high gear.

  • Having already announced in March his departure from Cadillac Racing.

  • Ganassi was likely pointing to Honda Performance Development’s IMSA program and the Acura ARX-06 cars.

After a panel discussion on team owners’ preference between the Daytona’s 24-hour and Sebring’s 12-hour, I once asked Chip Ganassi about his preference between the Indy 500 and Le Mans.

Almost before I could finish the question, Ganassi declared, “Indy.”


So, it was a little odd that Ganassi showed up at Watkins Glen two days before the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen—a race won by Porsche Penske Motorsport and drivers Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr—on the same Friday that the NTT IndyCar series was starting practice for its race at Laguna Seca. But there was Ganassi, touting his optimism that he would be returning next year to IMSA’s WeatherTech Championship in the GTP hybrids, according to

imsa watkins glen results

Ganassi’s unexpected appearance put the silly season for American endurance racing into high gear, one week after it first hit top speed at Le Mans. Having already announced in March his departure from Cadillac Racing, Ganassi was likely pointing to Honda Performance Development’s IMSA program and the Acura ARX-06 cars.

If those cars are available, it would confirm that Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti will leave Acura behind and become Cadillac Racing’s team next season in IMSA. Will Cadillac choose to rely on a European-based team to replace Ganassi in the World Endurance Championship?

Currently, the leading rumor mill candidate to run the Cadillacs in the WEC is British-based Jota, this year campaigning privateer Porsche 963s. On the other hand, we have heard a good deal from Taylor’s partner Michael Andretti about building up a base for his worldwide operations during the ongoing effort to join Formula 1 with, ahem, Cadillac.

31 whelen cadillac racing, cadillac v seriesr, gtp pipo derani, jack aitken, tom blomqvist
Pipo Derani plans to leave Action Express Racing after a successful run that has included a pair of championships.IMSA Photo

Shaking Up the Driver Market

No wonder the driver’s market has turned catawampus. Pipo Derani announced prior to the Glen that he is leaving Action Express Racing after scoring two championships there. The drivers at Chip Ganassi Racing, Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande, have been free agents since March.

Whither brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, who were reunited at their father Wayne’s team this year after it expanded to two Acura entries. The rumor mill says these two have contracts obliging them to race Acuras—which could leave several Cadillac seats to fill.

Could Shank Return to Acura?

Inevitably, the name of IndyCar team co-owner Mike Shank has reentered the conversation. He was bumped out of IMSA’s top echelon upon the formation of Wayne Taylor’s two-car team for the 2024 season and after the Rolex 24 at Daytona cheating scandal in 2023. Honda Performance Development, which self-reported the rule-breaking once alerted, brought about this change.

Ganassi, whose Honda-powered IndyCar team is looking at another championship with Alex Palou after his win at Laguna, has shared the mantle of a factory Cadillac team with Action Express, Why not a return of Meyer-Shank Racing to Acura and a move by Ganassi into Honda’s sports car camp, each with a one-car team? Perhaps one of them will feature the Taylor brothers co-driving again.

Whispers Surround Honda, McLaren

Honda, meanwhile, continues to express little interest in racing at Le Mans in a European market where it sells relatively few cars.

During this year’s French 24-hour, the confirmation that the current Hypercar rules package will run through 2029 has reignited the conversation around McLaren joining the hybrid fray. McLaren CEO Zak Brown has said he would like to build a car to the LMDh rules, which likely means an entry in IMSA’s WeatherTech Championship and at Le Mans, given the limit on entries in the WEC.

As usual, one phrase follows the other. It’s the Silly Season. And, stay tuned.