Detroit weekend: Mingay Sunday update, Indy Race 2 notes and grid

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DETROIT – Lots of nuggets to cover in the intervening hours before today’s second of two Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans races.

To start, the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix event has released an update on the status of injured Stadium SUPER Trucks driver Matt Mingay, who remains in serious but stable condition.

Here’s the update:

“UPDATE driver, Matt Mingay, remains hospitalized and listed in serious, but stable condition, according to a hospital spokesperson. Mingay’s family reports that he underwent surgery last night for facial injuries suffered in the accident. We will continue to update.”

Here’s some additional updates from the INDYCAR paddock:

Letterman and his beard. Photo: IndyCar
Letterman and his beard. Photo: IndyCar
  • David Letterman made a last minute appearance in Saturday’s first race of the weekend to support the No. 15 United Rentals Honda team for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (above). He is not on site for today’s second race of the weekend. Graham Rahal looks to extend his Detroit race weekend podium streak to three years running if he can end top-three today.
  • Speaking of United Rentals, they were in the news earlier this weekend for good reason: On Friday, INDYCAR announced a multiyear agreement with United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental provider and a team partner with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, to become the official equipment rental company of INDYCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series.
  • Further meetings are expected this week between NAPA and Andretti Autosport officials to determine how much longer NAPA Auto Parts will continue on the No. 98 Honda for Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi.
  • Max Chilton’s crew got his No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet repaired in time for qualifying and the Englishman will start 19th today. An apparent steering column issue helped send him into the wall in Saturday’s first race.
  • Whereas for Saturday’s race only Carlos Munoz started on Firestone’s black primary tires, five drivers have opted to start on primaries today. Those five are Juan Pablo Montoya, Charlie Kimball, Takuma Sato, Josef Newgarden and Marco Andretti.
  • Montoya called teammate Will Power’s move at Turn 3 on Saturday a “desperate” move. “Just Will I think is a little desperate right now for results, so he’ll do anything. That’s what it is. It’s the truth,” said the driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, who will start 10th today.
  • Conor Daly kicked off his first ever IndyCar podium press conference making sure to thank his team: “I mean, yeah, Dale Coyne Racing puts me in positions far greater than I deserve at times. Gosh, they do all the right things strategically. Dale is a wizard, I think. He’s up there calculating everything in his head. Maybe he can see the future, I don’t know. But it was awesome,” said the driver of the No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda, who starts 21st today.
  • Among the items Sebastien Bourdais addressed in his press conference on Saturday was how much he thanked his team for the strategy calls, led by strategist and team co-owner Jimmy Vasser. “I’m not sure I know the scenario actually because I think I missed a couple of steps how we got from 13th to 16th to 18th to last pretty much, 13th again, then jumping into the lead. It was a rather interesting day and a great team effort from the 11 crew, Hydroxycut. To do that for Chevrolet here means a heck of a lot,” said the driver of the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet, who starts 12th today.
  • Best starts of the season today for Ryan Hunter-Reay (second) Mikhail Aleshin (fifth) and Gabby Chaves (15th).
  • With only two cautions for eight laps on Saturday, that marked the fewest number of cautions since this race weekend became a doubleheader race weekend in 2013.

Here is the grid for Sunday’s race two:

DET2grid

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.