Sims was confirmed as Pipo Derani’s co-driver at AXR for the beginning of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s new period, through which the premier class is rebranded GTP, and DPi vehicles are changed by Le Mans Daytona hybrid vehicles and Le Mans Hypercars.
Sims accrued 5 wins in IMSA’s now defunct GT Le Mans class racing Rahal Letterman Lanigan-run BMWs in 2017-’18, whereas from 2018 to ’22 his predominant focus was Components E.
Nevertheless his ardour for sportscar racing meant that he jumped on the alternative to grow to be one among Corvette Racing’s endurance ‘extras’ in 2021 and this yr, and that relationship with GM has seen him land a a lot sought-after trip with a confirmed championship caliber group.
“I’m super-excited about this chance. It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind scenario since Le Mans, which led to disappointment when issues have been going the fitting manner for us with Corvette. Talking to Laura [Wontrop Klauser, GM sportscar racing program manager] after the race about how issues went, she put us in contact with Motion Categorical and conversations went fairly constructive from the beginning.
“I used to be in a position to recover from to Atlanta to do a check with Pipo and the group. It was a brief day within the DPi automobile, however it was an exquisite factor to drive. Every thing went properly fortunately, and we have been in a position to conform to issues for subsequent yr, which is an absolute dream come true from my viewpoint.
“I’m becoming a member of an extremely skilled group of individuals at Motion Categorical – a bunch of engineers and Pipo who’ve had success up to now – and hopefully I can study rapidly from them and slot in and do an honest job.”
Sims bluntly admitted Components E had not been his forte, and that his coronary heart lies in sportscar racing.
“I don’t suppose I shied away from the truth that Components E has been an attention-grabbing time for me, however in the end concluded that it’s not the championship that matches with me in a sporting sense,” he stated. “I couldn’t get my head round it and in the end didn’t wish to be there anymore and wished to get again to IMSA racing.
“To be on this place to mainly get precisely what I wished and be racing within the high class for the primary time is genuinely a dream come true. I beloved the 2 years that I did in IMSA – essentially the most pleasing type of racing that I’ve achieved. The principles format tends to maintain you within the races should you’re struggling, should you’ve had points there are such a lot of occasions the place you will get again within the race after a hiccup. And even should you’re in a robust place and also you’re quick, it’s unlikely that you just’re ever simply going to sail away for 2 hours forward of the sphere. There’s at all times going to be security vehicles, there’s at all times going to be shut racing to maintain you in your toes.”
So keen was he to return to IMSA that Sims admits that driving a prototype like Cadillac’s new V-LMDh had not been his predominant focus, however as an alternative he sought methods to drive something within the WeatherTech SportsCar Collection.
“The precedence was to get again to racing that I loved, which was racing in IMSA,” he stated. “If that have been in GT or prototypes, the identical success in that standards would have been there.
“When prototypes have been mentioned, the chance for a race driver is fairly thrilling to run within the high class of any championship. It’s been some time since I’ve pushed a prototype. I drove LMP2 in ALMS and some WEC races fairly a couple of years in the past. The upper downforce driving is one thing that’s not too distant from my present scenario, however clearly driving in Components E is considerably totally different.
“To get again to increased downforce, quick racing the place you’re usually at all times going to be the chief when it comes to velocity of sophistication, not having to look into your mirrors at all times – which is just a little little bit of a problem in a GT automobile – goes to be good…
“I’m going to wish that focus as a result of issues come up fairly quick in these vehicles; they’re tremendous fast. It’s a little bit of an adjustment interval in these check days we’ve bought, however that’s the explanation why we’ve bought them and I’ll rise up to hurry for the primary race.”