Dixon, Aitken join Cadillac for Rolex 24

Dixon, Aitken join Cadillac for Rolex 24

Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and Williams F1 reserve driver Jack Aitken will complete the Cadillac lineups for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening round of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the debut of the Cadillac V-LMDh in the new GTP class.

Dixon, a four-time Rolex 24 winner, will again join Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande for the twice-around-the-clock event in one of the Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared entries. Aitken will co-drive the Action Express Racing-prepared Cadillac V-LMDh with 2021 IMSA champion Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims.

“All of us at Action Express Racing are thrilled to have Jack join our team as our endurance driver,” declared team manager Gary Nelson. “We have won six IMSA Endurance Championships and five IMSA overall championships in the past nine years. Strong runs throughout the endurance events are critical for both championships. We are expecting great things in 2023 and with Jack’s help we can’t wait to get started on our sixth overall and seventh endurance championships.”

Aitken, 27, competed in the European Le Mans Series in 2022, driving for TF Sport in the LMP2 class, and competed in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and ADAC GT Masters with Emil Frey Racing. He also made his Le Mans 24 Hour debut in LMP2 with Algarve Pro Racing. Aitken, the 2015 Formula Renault Eurocup champion, has been a Williams F1 reserve driver since 2020.

“The prospect of working with Action Express and Cadillac on the V-LMDh program had me gripped as soon as it became a possibility and working to make that a reality over the past weeks has only solidified my opinion that we’ll be taking on a fantastic calendar of events with an extremely motivated and top-level crew,” Aitken said. “It will be a true pleasure to represent a brand like Cadillac at a time when the endurance world is entering what many are calling a golden era of sports car racing. I cannot wait to start work with everyone, including my teammates Pipo and Alex, who’ve been very welcoming already.”

Dixon (left) will again partner Sebastien Bourdais with Cadillac at the Rolex 24. Motorsport Images

Dixon is no stranger to the Rolex 24, having three overall victories and an additional GTLM class win at the event, most of them coming with CGR.

“I find sports car racing very enjoyable — especially once you get into these endurance races, you’re driving the car a lot. I just love driving cars and being a part of interesting and high-end experiences like these with Cadillac,” Dixon said. “It’s a great fit and ultimately the pure love of racing.”

Dixon had his first taste of Cadillac’s latest prototype racer for the first time last month during an endurance test at Sebring International Raceway.

“Being part of the endurance test with no real issues, it’s hit the ground well,” he said. “Good power and the drivability is really nice, which is what you’d expect from what Cadillac has done before with a normally aspirated V8. Honestly, the car seems really reliable and ready to go. There are a lot of new systems to get used to and it’s a big car, but fun to drive.”

Dixon’s extensive experience in sports cars in addition to his open-wheel career provides valuable insight to the team.

“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the most significant race of the IMSA schedule that happens to also be the first race of the year,” Chip Ganassi Racing director of operations Mike O’Gara said. “Scott brings a level of stability since he’s been with us for 20-plus years. He’s the steady guy who provides a good perspective to hop in the race car and give us a fresh, reliable outlook. He’s not an extra driver to get us through the 24-hour race. He adding to the program even though he’s only driving the car a few times a year.”

Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook — previously announced for the Cadillac V-LMDh entry in the seven FIA World Endurance Championship races for 2023 — will co-drive the second Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared car at Daytona.

All nine drivers are scheduled to participate in the IMSA-sanctioned test next week at Daytona International Speedway.