No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R Finishes Fourth in Qatar



Posted on 03/02/2024

No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R Finishes Fourth in Qatar

Following a setback at the start of the season-opening FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race, the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R team recovered to finish fourth Saturday in the Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 Km.

Deft driving, quick pit stops, and solid strategy contributed to the hybrid Cadillac beginning its second WEC season with a handful of positives, including knowledge that its LMDh platform will be a consistent contender in the highly competitive class over the eight-race calendar.

The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R topped the time sheet in one of the three free practices and was the lone Hypercar entry in the top four of each session leading to qualifications.

Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Sebastien Bourdais then maximized opportunities against the 18 Hypercar competitors throughout the 10-hour race on the 5.148-kilometer (3.37-mile), 16-turn Lusail International Circuit after contact in Turn 1 of Lap 1 dropped the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R from its starting spot of seventh to 15th.

The incident necessitated a nose assembly change on the Lap 33 first pit stop. Lynn was able to pick up the pace in his next stint, matching the lead pack in lap times, despite a damaged wing assembly that was swapped out on the ensuing service stop on Lap 67.

Bourdais took over the wheel and registered the best lap of the trio (1:41.625) in making significant headway to move into the top 10. Bamber inherited the seat on Lap 133 and joined the competition in ninth place, eventually advancing into the top five.

Lynn kept the Cadillac in the top five as the sun faded over the peninsula, with Bourdais then getting four fresh Michelins and full energy replacement on Lap 269. The four-time INDYCAR champion made the final service stop on Lap 302 and closed out the 335-lap race under the bright lights.

The No. 2 Cadillac team will race next on April 21 at the Imola Circuit in Italy in the WEC’s first visit since 2011.

Earl Bamber: “To start the season here with a fourth place is sort of where we kicked off last season. I think it gives us great momentum. The team did an amazing job and on the strategy they did a solid job to pull us all the way back up. If you would have said at the beginning of the day that we would get a fourth place, I think we would have taken that comfortably. It’s something that we can build on going to Imola and Spa and the rest of the season.” 

Alex Lynn"The start was chaotic. We knew we had good pace in the car this weekend. Considering first race of the year and the way the race started, I think we’ll definitely take the result. It’s our best since Le Mans last year, so pretty good way to start the season.” 

Sebastien Bourdais"We found ourselves in a hole at the beginning and we played the long game. That was really the plan going into the race. We stuck to the plan and soon we saw that guys were getting away from the 10-stint strategy. We said, 'If we can stick with it, then that could be a really good result,' and that’s exactly what happened. Really happy for the team and I had a lot of fun in the car. It’s a cool place to drive and a fun race."