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Monday, March 4, 2024

Cadillac “nonetheless actually inexperienced on information” of GTP automotive

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All 5 IMSA GTP producers – together with Lamborghini’s new SC63 LMDh challenger – can be in motion on Wednesday and Thursday on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn street course that comes with sections of the high-banked oval.

The opening day is for prototypes solely, with GTD contenders becoming a member of on Thursday to make it an anticipated 43 automobiles on monitor in whole.

Regardless of having a full season of racing below its belt, and profitable the title with its Motion Specific-run automotive, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Bourdais believes there stays a lot to be unleashed from the 5.5-liter, V8-powered Caddy.

That course of begins with two day/evening classes this week, forward of the Roar Earlier than the 24 check for all groups on 20-22 January and the Daytona 24 Hours opener on 28-29 January.

“Towards the tip of the season with the couple of assessments we had, we began to study extra in regards to the automotive and what makes it go and what doesn’t work,” mentioned ex-F1 racer and four-time Champ Automotive champion Bourdais. “It’s simply going to take time.

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“Folks suppose we’ve had plenty of testing, nevertheless it was all centered towards homologation and reliability. We’re nonetheless actually inexperienced on information of the automotive so far as designing setups and getting efficiency out of it.

“Since we homologated the automotive, there’s actually been little time to optimize it and perceive it so far as discovering that final half a second that’s a game-changer while you come to race weekends. It’s going to be a steady studying course of, attempting to make numbers fall into place and validate the reads.”

Bourdais will once more be partnered by Renger van der Zande for the complete IMSA season, with CGR’s IndyCar star Scott Dixon becoming a member of for the endurance occasions.

Photograph by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac V-LMDh Cadillac V- LMDh: Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims, Jack Aitken

Within the sister Motion Specific staff, Jack Aitken replaces Alexander Sims alongside Pipo Derani – who claimed his second IMSA top-class prototype title final 12 months.

“Like every new automotive, you all the time need extra testing, extra follow time,” mentioned Derani. “Particularly when it’s such a posh racecar with the hybrid and a heavy automotive makes it for an extended street by way of growth.

“We’re a 12 months and a bit into the event of this automotive however solely simply now beginning to perceive a couple of issues that make sense to the setup and the way we make this automotive go faster. Nonetheless so much to enhance from everybody.

“It’s all the time a studying course of and it’s important to be humble sufficient to know it’s important to proceed that manner if you wish to succeed on this sequence.”

GM sports activities automotive racing program supervisor Laura Wontrop Klauser mentioned of the Daytona check: “We’ll be taking all the teachings from 24 hours of racing this 12 months and apply to see what we are able to do to prepare for subsequent 12 months.

“One of many issues that we’re enthusiastic about with our carryover program for ’24 is we’re capable of give attention to the automotive and understanding it extra in addition to ensuring we now have all of the help on the GM and Dallara aspect prepared to assist the groups achieve success.

“One of the difficult issues this 12 months has been the shortage of time. We’ve been working race to race to race, and we’d often slip in a check. Actually, it was our race schedule in 2023 that stored us busy, which was phenomenal as a result of you possibly can’t have a greater check than a race to see what you are able to do with the automotive.

“So, it is going to be good to be again at Daytona, give attention to a check plan.”

Cadillac was a contender for victory in final 12 months’s Daytona 24 Hours nevertheless it was finally outpaced by Acura’s ARX-06 automobiles – though the profitable Meyer Shank Racing entry was later discovered to have manipulated tire information and was penalized.

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