Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will represent Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2016 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will also serve as Dixon’s debut at the prestigious endurance race. Racer reported the news on Monday.
The New Zealander will co-drive the No. 69 Chip Ganassi Racing Teams USA Ford GT alongside Richard Westbrook and former IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe, as part of a four-car roster entering the June event. Dixon’s IndyCar competitor Sebastien Bourdais will also be part of the effort, co-piloting the sister No. 68 car with drivers Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand.
“Like any driver, it is a dream come true for me to race at Le Mans and I can’t wait to get started,” Dixon said in the Racer report. “The history of Ford at Le Mans is very well documented, and I’m proud to be part of this very special program.”
It’s no surprise that he would be recruited for the Le Mans effort; in fact, it’s surprising that it took this long. Dixon is a staple of Ganassi’s effort at the United States’ own 24-hour endurance race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and helped get the team’s No. 02 Ford EcoBoost DP car into Victory Lane as the overall winners of that event last year.
This weekend, with IndyCar off before the series heads to Phoenix International Raceway, he will also drive for Ganassi in the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in Florida.
Dixon, the current Verizon IndyCar Series champion, began his title defense on Sunday at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He started within the Top 6, but was plagued by a radiator that became clogged with debris from a multi-vehicle crash caused by Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz and was forced to make a lengthy pit stop to keep the vehicle from overheating.
He ultimately finished seventh, while Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya won the race, followed by teammate Simon Pagenaud and Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay.