Chip Ganassi Racing adds Sebastien Bourdais in IMSA; expands to second Cadillac

Ganassi Sebastien Bourdais IMSA
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Four-time IndyCar champion Sebastien Bourdais will join Chip Ganassi Racing full time in IMSA next season as the DPi team expands to a second Cadillac.

Renger van der Zande will return to Ganassi, which returned to IMSA in 2021 with the No. 01 Cadillac entry after exiting the GT class in 2019. Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn also will join the CGR IMSA team as full-time drivers as Kevin Magnussen exits the organization after a season as van der Zande’s teammate.

Ganassi will announce its driver pairings and endurance drivers before the 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Bourdais, who drove part and full time in the NTT IndyCar Series the past two seasons for A.J. Foyt Racing, made three IMSA starts in 2021 with JDC-Miller Motorsports. The Frenchman had the closing drive with the No. 5 Cadillac for a victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

He drove a Ford GT for Ganassi from 2017-19, helping secure a class win in the 2017 Rolex 24.

“I’m super excited to reunite with Chip Ganassi Racing,” Bourdais said in a release. “We have had our fair share of successes in the past, and I can’t wait to start working with the drivers like Renger, Earl and Alex. This is obviously a bit of a turning point in my career that will see me transitioning most of my attention to sports car racing, but I remain in the GM family. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for their trust and continued support. I am convinced Cadillac, Chip, Mike (Hull), Steve (Eriksen, team manager) and the entire team will give us all the tools we need to drive our cars to victory lane.”

In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, Bourdais indicated A.J. Foyt Racing still was working on possibly having him drive IndyCar part time in 2022.

Lynn is a veteran of Formula E and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Bamber will be making his debut with Cadillac after excelling as a Porsche driver in IMSA (winning the 2019 GTLM championship. He also won the overall 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and ’17.

“I am incredibly excited and honored to join Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing for 2022,” Bamber said in a release. “When you talk about legendary sports car racing teams you think of CGR. They’ve already won their class at Le Mans. It’s a world class team and it is amazing to see what they’ve done in their first year with the Cadillac DPi-V.R. I am also excited to race in the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

“I don’t know who my direct teammate will be, but the lineup that the team has put together is awesome and world class. Renger is a Daytona and championship winner already. Sebastien is someone I’ve looked up to as a kid when he was in Champ Car and IndyCar. Alex with his Formula E and sports car experience is fast as well. We have a nice mix of talent from different racing series. My personal hope is to win at Daytona. It has eluded me for many years as I have finished on the podium multiple times. I would also love to win some of the other highlight races and the team and driver’s championship.”

Said van der Zande, a two-time Rolex 24 winner: “It is great news to have Sebastien, Alex, and Earl as new teammates. They are all high-class, proven race car drivers. I think they will be a good fit with the team. Sebastien has done everything in the world, he has a lot of raw speed. I know Earl very well from our junior series and he’s an LMP1 overall winner. Alex comes to us from Formula E and has a lot of sports car experience. I feel great about coming back with the Chip Ganassi Racing team. I feel more at home than ever with them. They put a lot of responsibility on everyone. Chip and Mike Hull run a great operation, that is why they have been successful. Although I can’t wait until next year, we still have Petit Le Mans coming up, so we need to finish 2021 strong.”

Magnussen and van der Zande will close out their partnership in the No. 01 during the Motul Petit Le Mans season finale Nov. 13 at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead

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With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.


In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list