Ganassi Forced To Ship IMSA Cadillac To Le Mans After WEC Car’s Huge Spa Crash

While the tub remained intact and will be used as a spare at Le Mans, the team isn’t risking it for The Big One.

byJerry Perez|
IMSA photo

Cadillac isn't enjoying the easiest of starts to its endurance racing comeback in 2023, though things now looking up after a morale-boosting win at last weekend's IMSA race at Laguna Seca. Whether in WEC or IMSA, the Ganassi cars have shown promising pace that's sometimes been thwarted by pure bad luck, such as Renger van der Zande’s enormous crash at the 6 Hours of Spa while debuting a brand-new chassis. As a result, it's thrown a wrench into the organization's plans ahead of the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans.

According to Sportscar365, the chassis used at WEC's Spa race will still be taken to Le Mans but will be kept as a spare in case something else goes wrong. As part of what's called a "re-rack," it'll be the GTP Cadillac V-Series.R chassis from IMSA that's now been earmarked for Le Mans race duty.


The No. 3's massive shunt at Eau Rouge earlier this month was apparently caused by an electrical error that caused the steering wheel to momentarily seize. And while CGR’s global director of operations Mike O’Gara admits the timing of the failure was unfortunate, it's provided the team with an opportunity to fix a potential problem ahead of the big race.

“What was discovered was that there’s an electrical connection issue that caused the steering to momentarily seize up,” he told Sportscar365. “The good news is that we’ve found the issue and we have a counter-measure in place now, so it’s not going to happen again. The silver lining is that Renger [van der Zande] was fine, the tub survived despite it being a pretty massive-looking crash. Dallara did an awesome job with the tub itself. So there’s no structural damage to the tub, just some cosmetic."

Getting the V-Series.R used in IMSA over to Europe isn't exactly hard—what's hard is making sure transport and logistics line up with both WEC and IMSA's rigorous schedules. Following the IMSA race at Laguna Seca, the car went back to the shop to be prepped for shipping on May 24. Once the car arrives in France, it'll have to be thoroughly checked and adapted to Le Mans spec.

Should everything go according to plan, the car will then undergo its many procedural post-race checks, be shipped back to the U.S., and quickly prepped for the Watkins Glens IMSA race that takes place less than two weeks after Le Mans.

“We’ll turn [the IMSA] car around after Laguna, get it ready for Le Mans and air freight it over and then it will come back for Watkins Glen,” O’Gara said. “It’s not unfamiliar territory for us. It’s just we don’t like relying on airlines and maybe missing a flight. If you miss one flight, it could really wreak havoc.

“Typically we ship the cars back to Indy, turn them around quickly and then get them to The Glen. If there’s some delay with scrutineering at Le Mans, there’s a chance we can ship the car directly to New York and meet it there and do the turnaround at the track and then go for it.”


Cadillac will return to Le Mans in 2023 after a 21-year absence with three cars total; two factory racers and one customer car from Whelen Engineering. The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R from WEC will be driven by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook. The No. 3 from IMSA will be driven by Sébastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon. Lastly, the No. 311 Wheelen car will be raced by Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken.

The Drive will have boots on the ground at the 100th anniversary of the iconic endurance race, which takes place June 10-11.

Got a tip? Email us at