DAYTONA BEACH, Florida. – Formula One driver Kevin Magnussen and two-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Renger van der Zande will lead Chip Ganassi Racing’s return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021, the team announced Thursday.
Magnussen is currently competing in the F1 World Championship with the Haas F1 Team. He’ll team with van der Zande, who has 14 WeatherTech Championship career wins and recently completed the 2020 season with Wayne Taylor Racing. The two will share full-time duties in 2021 behind the wheel of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadillac Daytona Prototype international (DPi) entry beginning with the Rolex 24 in January.
CGR has the most successful stretch in Rolex 24 At Daytona history, with eight wins and three second-place finishes from 2006 to 2018. The team returns to IMSA competition after a one-year absence when its Ford GT program in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class concluded.
“If you are in professional racing anywhere in the world, you know the name Chip Ganassi and what it represents in motorsports,” Magnussen said in a statement released by the team. “Chip has built one of the best racing organizations on and off the track, and you can look back in history and see the tremendous record of success, especially as it relates to sports car racing.”
Magnussen, the son of former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship with DAMS in 2016 with five wins and 13 podium finishes. He also competed with McLaren in the 2014 F1 World Championship.
“It’s a great opportunity for myself to team up with CGR, Renger and Cadillac,” Magnussen said. “I can’t wait to get started, meet the team and begin preparations for the 2021 season.”
Van der Zande won the WeatherTech Championship title in 2016 in the PC class with four wins, eight podiums and one pole position. He claimed his second consecutive Rolex 24 victory in January and added a win at the Motul Petit Le Mans in October.
He shared a full-time role this season with Ryan Briscoe in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing/Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi, which they drove to a runner-up finish in the team, driver and manufacturer championships – coming within a single point of the title-winning No. 7 Acura Team Penske entry.
Van der Zande credited longtime CGR driver Scott Dixon, a six-time IndyCar Series champion, as part of his decision to join the team. Dixon drove with van der Zande and Briscoe this season in the No. 10 Cadillac at the Rolex 24, Motul Petit Le Mans and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have raced and won with Scott in sports cars, and I think he really embodies what the whole Chip Ganassi Racing organization is all about,” said van der Zande, who also brings familiarity with the Cadillac DPi platform to CGR. “It’s a first-class operation and the team knows how to win the big races.”
Chip Ganassi Racing has won seven IMSA championships and eight Rolex 24s. Cadillac has won the past four Rolex 24s.
“One of the things that stood out to me was hearing that as a former driver, Chip always wanted to create and build a team that he would want to drive for,” van der Zande said. “He has certainly done that, and those results speak for themselves across many series around the world. I think Kevin and I are both excited, to say the least, and ready to get the 2021 season started at Daytona.”
Endurance drivers and sponsors for the 2021 campaign will be announced at a later date, the team said. The WeatherTech Championship season opens with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on the Daytona International Speedway road course, with the race beginning on Jan.