Kobayashi will share the No. 48 Ally Racing-branded Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-VR with Mike Rockenfeller and Jimmie Johnson for the final time at Road Atlanta, the fourth and final stop on the Michelin Endurance Cup schedule.
However, the Toyota-contracted driver can no longer fulfill his duties for the Japanese manufacturer with a partial IMSA program with Cadillac, which is set to become Toyota’s direct rival in next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship with its new V- LMDh. .
“Unfortunately, this will be my last race with Cadillac,” Kobayashi said. “I have been working at Action Express for the past two years. I appreciate the team and my teammates Jimmy and Mike.
“I think we worked really hard to win a lot of races. We pressed very hard. Unfortunately, we haven’t won yet. But we are looking forward to winning one race. Jimmy Mike and I will do everything we can to win this last race. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Kobayashi first teamed up with Cadillac for the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona, helping Wayne Taylor Racing win that year’s race, before returning the following year to successfully defend the title.
He then joined AXR last year after WTR switched to Acura machinery and has since been a regular at the four races on the Michelin Endurance Cup schedule, although another victory has proved elusive.
Kobayashi previously told Motorsport.com that a A return to IMSA in 2023 was unlikely simply because of his expanded responsibilities at Toyotawhich now also include his role as WEC Team Principal.
Ally Racing has announced that its two-year Michelin Endurance Cup program is coming to an end this weekend.
This follows NASCAR legend Johnson’s statement earlier this week he will retire from competition full-time after two seasons of focusing mostly on IndyCar.
Cadillac has only so far confirmed a two-car IMSA effort in 2023, with AXR and Chip Ganassi Racing running one V-LMDh each, along with a one-car WEC attack from Ganassi.