Rumor Mill in Hyperdrive After Ganassi Says It's Leaving Cadillac GTP Program

01 cadillac racing, cadillac v seriesr, gtp renger van der zande, sebastien bourdais, scott dixon, 31 whelen cadillac racing, cadillac v seriesr, gtp pipo derani, jack aitken, tom blomqvist, 10 wayne taylor racing with andretti, acura arx 06, gtp ricky taylor, filipe albuquerque, brendon hartley
What Next? Ganassi Says It's Leaving Cadillac GTPIMSA
  • The final minutes of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring confirmed how much the Ganassi team brings to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

  • Last week, it was confirmed by the Ganassi team that it would be leaving the Cadillac GTP program after 2024.

  • If past is prologue, Ganassi may end up sitting out the 2025 season and return in 2026.

Sometimes the rumor mill in the paddock has as much speed as the race cars. Such was the case at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, where the speculation about Chip Ganassi Racing’s future in the hybrid GTP class of IMSA was top of the charts.

Ganassi will not race for Cadillac in 2025. Ganassi driver Sebastien Bourdais summed things up by saying he was “shocked” to learn the news, which broke on Monday of race week when the new direction was confirmed by the Ganassi team.

01 cadillac racing, cadillac v seriesr, gtp sebastien bourdais
Ganassi Racing driver Sebastian Bourdais acted like he didn’t see the Ganassi news of its exit coming.IMSA Photo

This leaves two doors open. Who will take up the slack at Cadillac, and where will the vaunted team of Ganassi end up next?


The final minutes on Saturday night of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, a classic finish for America’s oldest endurance race, confirmed how much the Ganassi team brings to the WeatherTech Championship. Leader Bourdais dueled in the dark for the victory with Acura ARX-06 driver Louis Deletraz of WTR/Andretti. The fender-banging by Deletraz, which was at the very edge of discretion, gave him a chance to out-brake the Cadillac V-Series-R in the Hairpin and take the lead and victory with less than five minutes to go.

Given that CGR brought Cadillac a podium finish at Le Mans last year and was crucial to capturing the manufacturer’s championship in the season’s finale at the Petit Le Mans, it seems unlikely the parting of Ganassi and Cadillac resulted from the manufacturer’s lack of interest. Ganassi always has options in sports car racing and it’s difficult to imagine him leaving General Motors unless there’s a bigger budget elsewhere.

Perhaps there just was not enough budget at Cadillac, in the estimation of the Ganassi team, to continue an assault on an overall win at Le Mans. At present, it looks like a seismic shift has occurred in the direction of Porsche and Team Penske, which ran third at Sebring, when it comes to who has the biggest budget in American endurance racing.

If past is prologue, Ganassi may end up sitting out the 2025 season and return in 2026. After the team concluded its campaign with the Ford GT in 2019, it was not until 2021 that the relationship began with Cadillac in the DPi class.

Will Ganassi reverse gears and head back to Ford? The company is rumored to be interested in a prototype program.

Ganassi had great success with the Ford GT program, which went from conception to winning forays on both sides of the Atlantic. The team won its GTLM class at Le Mans during the 50th anniversary celebration of Ford’s victory over Ferrari with the Mk. II in 1966.

Judging by the sea of motor homes at Sebring and a crowd that ran all the way to the horizon of the Green Park, a manufacturer could be forgiven for choosing to join the hybrid prototype revolution. Whichever way the automotive market turns when it comes to full electric or hybrid, participation with IMSA’s standardized GTP platform makes sense. The technology transfer and engineer training are critical for manufacturers and the publicity from success is a bonus. And, manufacturers always like it when costs are contained, in this case by the universal hybrid platform used in GTP.

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Ganassi’s run in sports cares includes plenty of Le Mans highlights.James Moy Photography - Getty Images

Perhaps it was a hint, but at least one NASCAR team aligned with Ford was represented in the paddock, where four IndyCar teams are currently participating in GTP. It all has the feel of blood in the water among sharks.

Alas, we await confirmation of which manufacturer partnership Ganassi pursues next. Meanwhile, nobody in a position to know is denying the likelihood that Action Express Racing will expand to two Cadillac V-Series.R entries next year. (If the budget at Cadillac was a concern for Ganassi in his decision to move on, that problem is less likely to be a concern at Action Express, where billionaire IMSA owner Jim France is a partner.)

As for the Twelve Hour...

Like the rumor mill, this Twelve Hour was fast and furious, too. In terms of speed, the usual sunset curse arrived early. Four-time winner Pipo Derani, who took the Action Express Caddy to the pole, ended his race upside down on a tire wall 90 minutes before the orange ball set in the west. The brilliant Brazilian ran afoul of GTD traffic.

Race leader Frederic Makowiecki then had a problem with the left rear of his Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 and lost two laps at dusk after a vicious spin. The WTR/Andretti team’s No. 10 entry, meanwhile, began smoking from an oil leak and needed a lengthy stop, dropping it off the lead lap.

The race’s overall lead continued to be hazardous, at best, as the temperatures and visibility dropped to usher in the final hours. In the end, the Acura ARX-06 of Deletraz had fresher tires and more speed than leader Bourdais’s Cadillac.

40 wayne taylor racing with andretti, acura arx 06, gtp jordan taylor, louis deletraz, colton herta
In the end, it was Acura (above) and not Cadillac taking the checkers in Florida.IMSA Photo

A typical Sebring episode led to Deletraz having those fresher tires on his No. 40 entry. When the No. 10 Acura driven by Felipe Albuquerque began leaking oil, it covered the windscreen of Bourdais’s Cadillac. He pitted earlier than planned due to the difficulty seeing with the sun low on the horizon. That put the No. 01 car on a different pit schedule once it was in the lead and trying to maintain track position. Deletraz’s later pit stop for tires proved decisive.

“It’s always disappointing to lose the race at the end in a situation like this,” said Bourdais.

It might have been a storybook ending if the Frenchman, long associated with Ganassi, had won the team’s last appearance in a Cadillac at Sebring. But its unlikely the departure from Cadillac by Ganassi is the end of the team’s extraordinary presence in sports car endurance racing.