Jimmy Johnson Still Pushing Le Mans in 2023 Plans

Jimmy Johnson remains to be ‘pushing behind the scenes’ On his plans to make his debut in 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023 With the following technology Camaro launched by NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports.

The seven-time Cup Sequence champion stated Tuesday morning he was “impatiently” awaiting affirmation of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Sequence schedule, which is predicted to have an open weekend to permit a transfer to the favored endurance race in France.

“I need to go to Le Mans; it will be an awesome expertise to go together with Hendrick and Motion Specific and the way in which this complete partnership works,” Johnson stated. From a group standpoint, what drivers can be on the high of their listing, so I am grateful to have had some conversations with them, and I do know there is a profit. I definitely have numerous curiosity in doing that. We’re nonetheless ready for the primary domino to fall.

“I really feel like there’s actually numerous curiosity from either side. We could not discuss something extra formal as a result of the schedule isn’t out.”

For the reason that mission was introduced in MarchWorkforce proprietor Rick Hendrick Johnson is talked about prominently As a lead candidate to enter the storage 56 anticipated at Le Mans subsequent yr.

This system will likely be overseen by Motorsports Vice President Chad Knaus, Hendrick, and Johnson’s crew chief for the seven Cup titles. He additionally attended 24 Hours of Le Mans this yr two weeks in the past. The race has attracted a number of CEOs from IMSA, Chevrolet and Hendrick (Together with Chief Working Officer Jeff Gordon, He’s additionally on Hendrick’s listing of potential drivers) for conferences across the entry of Storage 56, which IMSA President John Donnan informed NBC Sports activities can be authorised in January.

Johnson remains to be solidifying his 2023 racing schedule, however he hopes to incorporate the identical lineup this yr — a full IndyCar season and endurance race schedule within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sequence. Final month earlier than his debut within the Indy 500Johnson stated it’s going to seemingly be a number of months earlier than he is aware of extra in regards to the potential return of sponsor Carvana with the quantity 48 Dallara Honda in IndyCar.

With the primary DPi It’s being changed by the brand new LMDh platform within the renamed GTP class subsequent yrThere may be some query as as to if there will likely be sufficient buildings accessible for part-time applications just like the No 48 Ally Cadillac that has been supplied to Johnson by Motion Specific over the previous two years.

“I actually suppose it permits the schedule, it permits alternative,” Johnson stated. “There’s such a change subsequent yr in sports activities automotive racing, I am unsure the mud has actually settled but to grasp the place the alternatives lie. I nonetheless suppose that within the subsequent month or two there will likely be extra readability for myself and some others. Simply as This collection actually comes collectively and we all know the automobiles, the seats, and the alternatives.”

Johnson canceled a current report that he may solely take into account the Ovals at IndyCar subsequent yr.

I am unsure the place that got here from; Johnson, who was in his first full season in IndyCar after working on-road and avenue programs in 2021, stated she wasn’t in any discussions or considered my operations. “What I used to be doing was additionally numerous enjoyable and enjoyable. Hold bettering. I undoubtedly hope to do one thing related once more subsequent yr.”

I am unsure the place that got here from; Johnson, who was in his first full season in IndyCar after working on-road and avenue programs in 2021, stated she wasn’t in any discussions or considered my operations. “What I used to be doing was additionally numerous enjoyable and enjoyable. Hold bettering. I undoubtedly hope to do one thing related once more subsequent yr.”

Chad Knauss chatting with Jimmy Johnson and Kamui Kobayashi earlier than the Rolex 24 in Daytona in January (Brett Farmer/IMSA).

After a three-month break, Johnson will likely be racing with teammates Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi, the quantity 48 Cadillac ally.

The trio final raced collectively on the Rolex 24 in Daytona, the place a crash final evening ended their bid for victory. Due to the IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnson missed the automotive’s final begin on the Sebring Worldwide Circuit (taking forty eighth place sixth with Kobayashi, Rockenfeller and Jose Maria Lopez).

Though Kobayashi has robust ties to Toyota (because the World Endurance Championship group supervisor), Johnson hopes to remain on the IMSA group with Rockenfeller and Kobayashi as a result of they’re “simply two nice guys and two nice guys that exist.”

“I do not actually have sense of issues,” Johnson stated. “I really feel like Motion has been capable of assist Kamui navigate by means of the Toyota wrestle, and we have been in a position to try this for a number of years, so I really feel assured if there’s a chance, we’ll be capable of spot it. Rocky’s schedule is open a bit extra. I do know all of us need to be collectively, And I really feel like behind the scenes, within the political items, we are able to arrange that. It is nearly having automobiles accessible to drive. It is nonetheless not clear. I feel we’ll have a greater concept within the subsequent month or so of the alternatives there is perhaps.”

Johnson can also be assured he can preserve Ally, who additionally nurtured him within the Cup Sequence and stays Alex Bowman’s major supporter with No. 48 for Hendrik (Which provides Knauss and different group members to Motion Specific Coming into the Michelin Cup of Endurance).

“The connection with (Ally) could be very strong,” Johnson stated. “We’re nonetheless at this level with IndyCar or the sports activities automotive or some other concepts I’ve to go racing. Now it is all about folks simply beginning to discuss choices. It is often the top of summer season, the start of fall when the paper begins to maneuver and individuals are wanting ahead to Ink issues and get them completed. We’re simply early within the cycle, and I am undoubtedly making an attempt to maintain my choices open.”