Sims has been confirmed as co-driver for Pipo Derani in AXR to start the new era of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, rebranding the Class 1 GTP, replacing the DPi cars with Le Mans Daytona hybrids and Le Mans Hypercars.
Sims had five wins in the now-defunct GT Le Mans class Rahal Letterman’s Lanigan’s BMWs drove in 2017-18, while from 2018 to 22 his main focus was on Formula E.
However, his passion for sports car racing meant that he took the opportunity to become one of the Corvette Endurance Racing “extras” in 2021 and this year, and that relationship with General Motors has seen him embark on a much-desired journey with a team of championship-proven caliber. . .
“I’m very excited about this opportunity. It’s been a bit of a stormy situation since Le Mans, which ended in disappointment when things were going right for us with the Corvette. Talks to Laura [Wontrop Klauser, GM sportscar racing program manager] After racing about how things were going she hooked us up with Action Express and the conversations have been very positive from the start.
“I was able to get to Atlanta for a test with Bebo and the team. It was a short day in the DPi car, but the driving was a great thing. Fortunately everything went well and we were able to agree on things for next year which is an absolute dream come true from my point of view theoretical.
“Join the group of people with amazing experience at Action Express – a group of engineers and Pipo who have had success in the past – and I hope to learn from them quickly and land a decent job.”
Sims frankly admitted that Formula E was not his forte, and that his heart lies in sports car racing.
“I don’t think I walked away from the fact that Formula E was a fun time for me, but in the end I concluded that the championship was not the right sport for me,” he said. “I couldn’t get around it and in the end I didn’t want to be there anymore and wanted to get back to racing IMSA.
“Being in this position to get exactly what I want and to be racing in first class for the first time is really a dream come true. I loved my two years at IMSA – the most fun form of racing I have done. Coordination of the rules tends to keep you in the races if you are struggling If you run into problems there are a few times you can get back into racing after the hiccup. And even if you’re in a strong position and you’re fast, you’re unlikely to sail away for two hours before the field kicks off. There will always be safety cars, and there will always be close races to keep you on track. Standby.”
He was so eager to return to IMSA that Sims admits that driving a prototype like Cadillac’s new V-LMDh wasn’t his main focus, but instead looked for ways to drive anything in the WeatherTech SportsCar series.
“The priority was to get back to the races I enjoyed, which were the races at IMSA,” he said. “If it had been in GT or prototypes, the same fulfillment in those criteria would have been there.
“When the prototypes were discussed it was a very exciting opportunity for a race driver to run in first class in any championship. It’s been a while since I’ve driven a prototype. I’ve driven LMP2 in handouts and a few WEC races a few years ago. Top downforce driving It’s something not too far off from my current situation, but driving in Formula E is clearly a little bit different.
“To get back to higher downforce, fast racing where you’ll always be a top speed-pilot, without always having to look in the mirrors – which is a bit of a challenge in a GT – would be nice…
“I’m going to need that focus because things come up really fast in these cars; they’re very fast. It’s a bit of an adjustment period in our test days, but that’s why we’ve got it and I’ll be aware of first gear.”