The Briton has filled one of the two vacant seats in the three-car squad of Cadillac V-LMDhs for Daytona on 28/29 January alongside six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, who will race one of two Chip Ganassi Racing-run Cadillac Racing entries.
Aitken will race alongside full-season Action Express drivers Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims, while three-time overall Daytona winner Dixon will line up with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande in Ganassi’s regular IMSA entry.
Aitken has only officially been announced for Daytona, but the quotes from both driver and team in Cadillac’s statement suggest that he will be in the Action Express car for the IMSA Endurance Cup rounds at Sebring, Road Atlanta and, possibly, Watkins Glen.
That raises the prospect of the 27-year-old also contesting the Le Mans 24 Hours with Cadillac.
Cadillac’s LMDh programme boss Laura Wantrop Klauser suggested in October that the General Motors brand is aiming to have its two IMSA cars on the grid at the French enduro alongside its full-season entry in the World Endurance Championship.
This car, also run by Ganassi, will also contest Daytona next month with Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, its driver line-up for the WEC.
Aitken has been picked up by Cadillac after two seasons of sportscar racing alongside his reserve role at Williams, which included racing at the 2021 Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain.
He contested a partial programme in the 2021 GT World Challenge Europe with the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini squad and remained with the team in 2022 for a twin assault on the GTWCE Endurance Cup and the ADAC GT Masters series in Germany.
Aitken has prototype experience from racing with TF Sport in the ELMS this season
Photo by: Eric Le Galliot
This year Aitken also raced in the TF Sport-run Racing Team Turkey ORECA-Gibson 07 LMP2 in the European Le Mans Series and made his Le Mans debut driving for the Algarve Pro LMP2 squad.
He will get his first taste of the V-LMDh, which has been developed around Dallara’s next-generation LMP2 design, during next week’s official two-day LMDh sanction test at Daytona at which all nine Caddy drivers are scheduled to drive.
Aitken said: “The prospect of working with Action Express and Cadillac on the V-LMDh programme had me gripped as soon as it became a possibility and working to make that a reality over the past weeks has only solidified my opinion that we’ll be taking on a fantastic calendar of events with an extremely motivated and top-level crew.
“It will be a true pleasure to represent a brand like Cadillac at a time when the endurance world is entering what many are calling a golden era of sportscar racing.”
Action Express team manager Gary Nelson said: “All of us at the team are thrilled to have Jack join our team as our endurance driver.
“We have won six IMSA Endurance Cup titles and five IMSA overall championships in the past nine years, and strong runs throughout the endurance events are critical for both.
“We are expecting great things in 2023 and with Jack’s help we can’t wait to get started.”
Ganassi IndyCar driver Dixon is taking up his traditional place in the team’s Daytona roster. He has raced with the team in the opening round of the IMSA championship every year since 2004 with the exception of 2020 when the team was absent.
Dixon will reprise his endurance role with Ganassi
Photo by: Chris Owens / Motorsport Images
Dixon won the race outright with Ganassi in 2006 and 2015, respectively driving Lexus and Ford-powered Riley Daytona Prototypes, as well as notching up a class win with the team in 2018 at the wheel of a Ford GT.
In the year of Ganassi’s absence he took his third overall victory with the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac squad.
This year, Dixon raced Ganassi’s Cadillac DPi-V.R Daytona Prototype international at both Daytona and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, but missed Sebring because it clashed with the Texas IndyCar race.