No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R Team Wraps Up Debut WEC Season in BahrainWEC
In the concluding event of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, the No. 2 Cadillac team settled for an 11th-place finish in the 8 Hours of Bahrain. With the result, Cadillac Racing finished fifth among the Hypercar contenders with 73 points in what was the team’s first season racing the hybrid prototype in WEC competition.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadillac team achieved notable success across this year’s campaign, producing a podium achievement at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and three additional top-five performances (Sebring, Portimão and Spa-Francorchamps) across the seven WEC races. The podium at Le Mans was a first for Cadillac Racing, which returned to Circuit de la Sarthe after a 21-year absence.
Additionally, Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook set the pace as race leaders at both the 6 Hours of Monza and the Centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Team Manager Stephen Mitas: “It was a solid first season for the Cadillac Racing WEC team. Obviously, the competition is super tough and with a new team, new program the learning curve was really high. The team has come together well. Operationally, we’re happy with how things are working and we’re just have to work on ’24 to deliver on the promise that has been forming over the course of 2023. We have a test in December, so a lot of work to come and areas to improve on technically with the car and momentum we’re putting together with the team.”
Earl Bamber: “Tough start to the race. I was actually not trying to pass anyone; I was just braking. Then, in the middle of the brake zone, both front tires just locked up. I feel bad we affected the race, and we obviously affected our own. Still, there are a lot of positives this weekend and for our first season. Third at Le Mans and there is a lot to hold our heads up high.”
Alex Lynn: “It wasn’t our day today, but any time on the track is about learning and it is important as we build this program. Now it’s about regrouping and having a strong offseason and already turning our attention to 2024. Still so many positives we can take from this weekend and year, and we can go again next season. We’ve got some good speed in this car, but we have to continue to work hard because no one else is slowing down. We know what we need to do and improve to challenge for the podium.”
Richard Westbrook: “We had high hopes after Alex (Lynn) did a great job in qualifying and the car was really good in practice. It would have been nice to close out the season on a high. We were really confident going into the race, but it wasn’t to be. We’ll take this one as a learning opportunity and come back stronger in 2024.”
Beginning the eight-hour race from the inside of the second row, Earl Bamber led the Cadillac team to the green flag under an air temperature of 88.5 degrees Fahrenheit and a track temperature of 101.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the Hypercar field surged toward turn one on the opening lap, Bamber unfortunately locked his brakes, ensuing in contact with the No. 7 as multiple cars veered off the track. Bamber pressed on without suffering detrimental damage, but he was unfortunately called to the pits to serve a one-minute stop-and-go penalty. Bamber then returned to the track and charged forward for the remainder of his one hour and 59-minute stint.
Alex Lynn then took over driving duties from P11 position and began to work on recovering ground with a focus on returning to the lead lap.
Lynn completed 60 laps across his one hour and 54-minute stint before Richard Westbrook took over behind the wheel, with the No. 2 maintaining its position as the sun fell at the midway point in Sakhir, Bahrain.
Chasing after the front of the field, Westbrook laid down two 31-lap stints before eventually swapping out for Lynn with one hour and 58 minutes remaining in the race.
Lynn pushed the pace for another 31 laps before Bamber jumped back in the No. 2 Cadillac for the final 56 minutes to ultimately wrap up the endurance race in P11.
Source: Chip Ganassi Racing