Chip Ganassi says he has always had a soft spot in his heart for sport car racing as his Chip Ganassi Racing team prepare to return to the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship in 2021 following a year long absence as a result of Ford Performance taking the decision to leave the sport.
Speaking on Wednesday, Ganassi whose NTT IndyCar Series team took victory in the 2020 season with Scott Dixon winning his sixth series championship and is likely to be involved in Ganassi’s new IMSA DPi programme with Cadillac although he is committed to the NTT IndyCar Series.
Speaking about his return to IMSA, Ganassi said:
Unfortunately, we were not able to continue with our IMSA program in 2020, “but we kept a lot of the people employed. Some of those people will come back to the sports car racing program, we’ll shift some others from our IndyCar and NASCAR programs, and we’ll add some new people, I’m sure.
“I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for sports car racing. “I did some of it when I was starting out, and I’ve always enjoyed the Rolex 24, Sebring and we race at a lot of tracks that we have some knowledge about. So that helps. And we had some success in this series over the years. We want to go back to that. We feel we have something to offer and we want to measure ourselves against teams that are there all the time. And I’m sure they want to measure themselves against us, so it works well.”
It’s nice to be involved with IndyCars, IMSA and NASCAR. “You have the opportunity to see and learn about the best practices in each series, each form of racing if you will. You take that on board and integrate those practices into other areas of the team, and the organization grows and becomes stronger in the process. So I think we’re very fortunate in this market, in this economy, to be experiencing this little growth spurt.
We recognize and take pride in what we’ve accomplished.. “But in racing your attention has to be focused on what’s ahead rather than what’s in the past. I think the hybrid technology is an example of that.
“Extreme E is a very different proposition to anything we’ve done before, “but it’s where I think motor racing is headed in the future. When I started our team in 1990, one of the founding principles I built it on was innovation. I’ve always been passionate about pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and Extreme E checks that box for us in a big way.”
Anytime you go racing, you want to compete against the best teams and the best manufacturers, in the best series, on the best tracks and in the best events. “I think IMSA checks all those boxes. I also think like most people in the U.S. in sports car racing, we’re cautiously optimistic that there will be some sort of path in the future to Le Mans. Again, we had some success there and we’d like to go back. Obviously, Le Mans is a world-class event and we’d love to go back there. If that happens, great. If not, so be it. We’re really happy to be racing sports cars in the United States.