Kyffin Simpson took a slight detour on his way to IndyCar over the weekend, sampling the Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh car at the Bahrain International Circuit. Simpson, who will make the jump to Chip Ganassi Racing’s NTT IndyCar Series lineup for the 2024 season, logged 42 laps in the No. 2 Cadillac during Sunday’s FIA World Endurance Championship Rookie Test.
Alex Lynn, one of the full-season FIA World Endurance Championship drivers for the factory Cadillac program and who recently teamed with Simpson to win the European Le Mans Series LMP2 championship, set up the car for the 19-year-old native of Barbados.
“It was a lot of fun, honestly. I thought it was a really cool car to drive and a new experience for me,” Simpson said. “This is a very high-tech car, which was a lot of learning. But it was a great experience, and I’m thankful to GM and Chip Ganassi Racing for giving me this opportunity.”
Simpson is a previous winner in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, having taken the 2022 Petit Le Mans GTD victory with Till Bechtolsheimer and Mario Farnbacher in Gradient Racing’s Acura NSX GT3 Evo22, as well as an LMP2 victory at the Twelve Hours of Sebring with John Farano and Scott McLaughlin.
“This drives a lot more like a GT car [compared to LMP2], and I found that really interesting,” he said.
“They have a lot of power, so it gets up to speed quickly. I think the team is quite happy with it. I think Nico [Varrone, who also tested the Cadillac V-Series.R] and I were able to notice some things that the drivers who drive this all the time just kind of get accustomed to. That was a big thing for the Ganassi guys. Hopefully, they can take that information and improve the car for next year.”
Varrone was the 2024 WEC endurance driver for the Corvette GTE program that won the class in the centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans on the way to claiming the GTE championship. He drove 44 laps on the 3.36-mile, 15-turn circuit.
Simpson, who joined Chip Ganassi Racing as a development driver in May 2022, competed the past two seasons in the Indy NXT series. In addition to driving the in ELMS this past season, he also co-drove to an LMP2 class victory in the Asian Le Mans Series’ 4 Hours of Dubai.
Simpson drove an IndyCar for the first time in January 2023 with Chip Ganassi Racing at a Sebring International Raceway test.