Chip Ganassi fronts Simpson to test Cadillac LMDh in Bahrain

Chip Ganassi fronts Simpson to test Cadillac LMDh in Bahrain

Kyffin Simpson drove the #2 Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh ran by Chip Ganassi Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship Rookie Test at the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday.

Over the weekend, Kyffin Simpson made a brief detour to Bahrain International Circuit to sample the Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh car before heading to Indianapolis.

Simpson, who will move up to Chip Ganassi Racing’s NTT IndyCar Series lineup for the 2024 season, completed 42 laps in the No. 2 Cadillac during Sunday’s FIA World Endurance Championship Rookie Test.

CGR Managing Director Mike Hull set up a rigorous testing program for Simpson that lasted for a month and included driving an F2 car from a previous generation, using World Series equipment, and wrapping up with some IndyCar running in order to optimize his preparation.

Helping Simpson set up and shake down the car was Alex Lynn, one of the full-time WEC drivers under the Cadillac program, who recently won the European Le Mans Series LMP2 title with Simpson.

Despite the limited morning running, Simpson completed 42 laps on the 3.363-mile, 15-turn course, with his time clocking at 1m51.380s.

“It was a lot of fun, honestly,” Simpson said. “I thought it was a really cool car to drive and a new experience for me.

“This is a very high-tech car, which was a lot of learning. But it was a great experience, and I’m thankful to GM and Chip Ganassi Racing for giving me this opportunity.

“This drives a lot more like a GT car (compared to LMP2), and I found that really interesting. They have a lot of power, so it gets up to speed quickly.

“I think the team is quite happy with it. I think Nico (Varrone, who also tested the Cadillac V-Series.R) and I were able to notice some things that the drivers who drive this all the time just kind of get accustomed to.

“I think that was a big thing for the Ganassi guys. Hopefully, they can take that information and improve the car for next year.”

Simpson has previously won races in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He and Till Bechtolsheimer and Mario Farnbacher won the 2022 Petit Le Mans GTD in Gradient Racing’s Acura NSX GT3 Evo22, and they also won the Twelve Hours of Sebring in the LMP2 class with John Farano and Scott McLaughlin.

Varrone was the Corvette GTE program’s 2024 WEC endurance driver, winning the class at the Centennial 24 Hours of Le Mans and going on to win the GTE championship. He completed 44 laps on the 3.36-mile, 15-turn course. 

Simpson, who competed in the Indy NXT series for the previous two seasons, joined Chip Ganassi Racing as a development driver in May 2022. This past season, he not only drove the in the ELMS but also co-drove to an LMP2 class victory in the 4 Hours of Dubai which is an Asian Le Mans Series race.

Simpson made his IndyCar debut with Chip Ganassi Racing at a test held at Sebring International Raceway in January 2023.

WEC LMP2 and Indianapolis NXT driver Josh Pierson, as well as IMSA regulars Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth, are among the other notables taking part in the WEC Rookie Test.

The Trio run the #7 GR010 Hybrid Toyota Gazoo Racing car. Barnicoat recorded the fastest time out of the three while running 37 laps with a time of 1m50.740s.

After 32 laps, Pierson recorded a time of 1m51.085, and Hawksworth’s best result was a time of 1m51.316 during his 41 laps.

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