Cadillac Racing aims to finish strong in Motul Petit Le Mans

Execution, adaptability are keys to success in the season-concluding 10-hour race

DETROIT (Sept. 27, 2022) – Cadillac Racing driver Renger van der Zande chuckles while recalling his initial outing in a DPi race car at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“It was intense. It’s the track where you feel the speed of the race car the most in the whole series because it’s so intense. You go left, right, up and down and it’s bouncing you around in the car,” van der Zande said of the 2017 session.

Van der Zande confirms that a lap on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn natural-terrain road course in the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R is still quite a thrill ride even after hundreds of laps.

“At the moment, the DPi is the fastest prototype on the planet. And it does feel like that, especially at Road Atlanta. It feels very fast because of the Esses and the downhill compression really takes you. It takes a lot of courage to go fast there,” said van der Zande, who has competed in six prototype races at the track. “Fortunately, the Cadillac is very robust and it’s a very good car to drive for the long distance. Because it’s such an intense track, you need the car at the end more than in the beginning of the race.”

Cadillac Racing will seek its fifth Manufacturer Endurance and Endurance Driver championships and third Endurance Team title as the DPi era draws to a close Oct. 1 with the 25th Motul Petit Le Mans.

The Cadillac DPi-V.R has recorded 27 victories – tops among all manufacturers – and 82 podium finishes in the 58 races, plus three Manufacturer, Driver and Team championships. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R co-driven by Tristan Vautier, Richard Westbrook and Loic Duval paces the Cadillac Racing endurance title contenders.

IMSA is monitoring the track of Hurricane Ian and will “act accordingly as needed.”

The 10-hour race that transitions from daylight to darkness requires execution on the track and on pit lane, adaptable strategy and cohesiveness among drivers, according to reigning IMSA DPi champion Pipo Derani.

“We’ve won this race, so we know it takes a never-give-up attitude to win a 10-hour race,” he said. “You got through the heat of the day and then you end up at night, so compromise is the name of the game in terms of setup.

“I think this year is going to have a special taste for us. We’re not in the fight for the championship, so we can allow ourselves to enjoy and be aggressive and try and go for that win no matter what. It’s the last DPi race, so I’m going to try to enjoy that. It’s one of the best cars that I’ve ever driven and one of the best tracks there is in America. It will be a little sad to let the DPis go, but it’s for a great cause having the new Cadillac V-LMDh car coming.”

Four of the five Cadillac DPi-V.Rs entered will welcome INDYCAR drivers present and past, including six-time champion Scott Dixon who will share duties with van der Zande and four-time INDYCAR champion Sebastien Bourdais. Dixon co-drove the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, who recently completed his second INDYCAR season that included being voted top rookie in the Indianapolis 500, returns to the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R with Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller.

Derani and Olivier Pla will be joined by former DYCAR driver Mike Conway.

Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber will be reunited with 2012 INDYCAR champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 02 Cadillac Accessories Cadillac DPi-V.R.

“We want to try to win another of the big endurance races,” said Bamber, who teamed with Lynn and Neel Jani to win the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. “We definitely have the car speed to do it, we’ve got the team to do it and we’ve got the engine to do it, so we just have to execute. It’s going to be an enthralling battle between the manufacturers for the top step.”

Peacock will have flag-to-flag streaming coverage of the race starting at noon ET Saturday, Oct. 1. NBC will telecast the race from noon-3 p.m. ET, while USA will pick up coverage from 7-10:30 p.m.

Cadillac DPi roster for the Motul Petit Le Mans

No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R (Cadillac Racing

Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon

Van der Zande and Bourdais co-drove the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R to the victory at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on July 3, on the Belle Isle street circuit June 4 and the streets of Long Beach on April 9 – starting from the pole in the latter two. … CTMP was the 18th IMSA victory for van der Zande and 10th for Bourdais. … Bourdais set the qualifying lap record time at Long Beach and Belle Isle. He also set the lap record time in earning the pole for the March 19 Twelve Hours of Sebring and for the May 15 Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio. … They most recently finished third at Road America. … Bourdais is a four-time INDYCAR champion. … Bourdais and van der Zande competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. … Dixon, the six-time INDYCAR champion, drove the No. 01 Cadillac in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. He also drove the No. 01 Cadillac in the 2021 Petit Le Mans. … van der Zande recently was honored by having his name added to the Dutch national motorsport monument next to the main entrance of the circuit of Zandvoort in The Netherlands.

Car chief-Phil Binks

Lead engineer-John Hennek

Race strategist-Peter Baron

No. 02 Cadillac Accessories Cadillac DPi-V.R (Cadillac Racing)

Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Ryan Hunter-Reay

First-year entry in expanded Cadillac Racing DPi program. … Bamber and Lynn co-drove to a runner-up finish on the streets of Long Beach on April 9 after starting second and at Road America on Aug. 7 after starting on the front row. They placed third June 4 on the Belle Isle street circuit… They, along with Neel Jani, co-drove to victory March 19 in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. … Bamber salutes his home country with a silver fern design on the sides of his helmet — a quasi-national emblem used for various official New Zealand symbol. … Bamber recently moved to Nashville. “Good barbeque,” he said. … Lynn competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. … Hunter-Reay is the 2012 INDYCAR champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He co-drove the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R at Sebring.

Car chief-Jamie Coates

Lead engineer-Danielle Shephard

Race strategist-Michael Harvey

No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R (Action Express Racing)

Pipo Derani, Olivier Pla, Mike Conway

Pla made his debut in the No. 31 Cadillac on June 4 at Detroit. … They co-drove to third place at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on July 3. … Derani and Tristan Nunez co-drove to third place on the Laguna Seca road course after starting sixth. They followed with a third-place finish May 15 at Mid-Ohio. … Derani and Nunez, joined by Conway, started second and finished third in the March 19 Twelve Hours of Sebring. … The three-driver team started seventh and finished fourth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona to open the season. … Conway, a former INDYCAR driver, competes full time in the FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar class. … Derani and Felipe Nasr were the 2021 IMSA DPi Driver Champions and Whelen Engineering/Action Express Racing was the Team Champion. … Derani and Pla were teammates for the second consecutive year for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. … Derani’s wife, Marina, is expecting the couple’s first child in early December.

Car chief-Bill Keuler

Technical director/lead engineer-Iain Watt

Race strategist-Tim Keene

No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R (JDC-Miller MotorSports)

Tristan Vautier, Richard Westbrook, Loic Duval

Vautier and Westbrook co-drove to third place on the streets of Long Beach on April 9 after starting fifth. Vautier and Westbrook, joined by Duval, drove to second place in the March 19 Twelve Hours of Sebring and opened the ’22 season by starting second and finishing third at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. … Westbrook is a London-trained chef. … Vautier and Westbrook competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, with Westbrook earning a podium finish.

Car chief-Josh Kerrigan

Lead engineer-Rick Cameron

Race strategist-John Church

No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R (Action Express Racing)

Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller, Kamui Kobayashi

Competing in the four endurance races this season. … Opened ’22 season by starting third in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Repairs in 13th hour necessitated by being bumped off course negated a strong showing, and team placed 11th overall. … Johnson did not compete at Sebring because of a conflict with his INDYCAR schedule. He rejoined the team for Watkins Glen. … The team started fifth and finished sixth at Sebring. … Race strategist Chad Knaus — the Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of competition — is the program manager of the Garage 56 entry for the NASCAR/Hendrick Motorsports with a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 based around a Next Gen NASCAR for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. Action Express Racing is assisting with the program.

Car chief-Scott Darnell

Technical director/lead engineer-Iain Watt

Race strategist-Chad Knaus

Cadillac Racing at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta 2021-2017

2021: Second (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start first – Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr, Mike Conway

     Fourth (No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R) start fifth – Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi, Simon Pagenaud

     Fifth (No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R) start seventh – Renger van der Zande, Earl Bamber, Scott Dixon

     28th overall (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start third – Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval, Sebastien Bourdais

2020 (six-hour race on Sept. 5): Third (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start seventh – Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr, Filipe Albuquerque

     Fourth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start fifth – Joao Barbosa, Sebastien Bourdais, Tristan Vautier

     Fifth (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start sixth – Renger van der Zande, Ryan Briscoe

    28th overall (No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R) start seventh – Stephen Simpson, Matheus Leist

2020 (10-hour race on Oct. 17): First (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start fifth – Renger van der Zande, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon

    Fourth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start seventh – Joao Barbosa, Sebastien Bourdais, Tristan Vautier

    Fifth (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start third – Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr, Filipe Albuquerque

   26th overall (No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R) start eighth – Chris Miller, Matheus Leist, Gabriel Aubry

2019: First (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start first – Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran

     Second (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start eighth – Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor, Matthieu Vaxiviere

     Fifth (No. 84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R) start seventh – Simon Trummer, Stephen Simpson, Chris Miller

     Seventh (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start third – Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, Mike Conway

     Ninth (No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R) start 10th – Tristan Vautier, Misha Goikhberg, Juan Piedrahita

     22nd overall (No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R) start ninth – Will Owen, Spencer Pigot, Rene Binder

2018: First (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start 11th – Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor, Ryan Hunter-Reay

    Fourth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start sixth – Tristan Vautier, Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi

    Eighth (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start ninth --- Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran, Gabby Chaves

2017: Second (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start ninth – Dane Cameron, Eric Curran, Mike Conway

    Fifth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start eighth – Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque

    37th overall (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start 13th – Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Ryan Hunter-Reay

About Cadillac

A leading luxury auto brand since 1902, Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio that features distinctive design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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