Bamber, Lynn, Westbrook bring passion for winning to Cadillac V-LMDh program
DETROIT (Oct. 3, 2022) — Cadillac is excited to be competing on the world racing stage in 2023, challenging for wins and championships in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Hypercar classification with the Cadillac V-LMDh race car.
Three drivers with strong ties to Cadillac Racing will drive the Cadillac V-LMDh in the seven WEC races, including Cadillac’s first outing to the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2002. The 2023 WEC season begins March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring in Florida.
Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who co-drove the No. 02 Cadillac DPi-V.R to victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March, will be joined by veteran sports car racer Richard Westbrook to drive the Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared Cadillac V-LMDh.
The drivers of the all-new Cadillac hybrid prototype will also compete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January – the opening round of the nine-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class.
“We look forward to new challenges by entering the V-LMDh in the World Endurance Championship,” said Global Vice President of Cadillac Rory Harvey. “Bringing together a world-class team of drivers is paramount to our success next year and Cadillac Racing has accomplished that.”
The driver lineup brings a considerable amount of talent and experience to the WEC calendar that includes races in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and the Middle East.
Bamber has two overall wins from his five starts at Le Mans and was the 2019 IMSA GTLM champion. Lynn, who has driven in 28 WEC races since 2016, won the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020 as well as at Spa in 2017 and ’18.
Westbrook, who scored an overall podium finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, is an 11-time race winner in IMSA, where he earned a class victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2018 with Chip Ganassi Racing. He is also a former Chevrolet Corvette factory driver, Porsche Supercup champion and GT2 champion.
This season, Westbrook co-drove a Cadillac DPi-V.R to a runner-up finish at Sebring and third place at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Long Beach.
Previously, Cadillac Racing announced drivers for its two Cadillac V-LMDh cars in all nine IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP class races.
Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais, who co-drove the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R to three victories this past season, will continue as teammates in a Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared Cadillac V-LMDh.
Pipo Derani, the 2021 IMSA DPi champion, will be paired with multi-faceted British driver Alexander Sims in the sister Cadillac V-LMDh prepared by Action Express Racing.
Additional drivers for endurance races on the 2023 IMSA schedule, beginning with the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, will be announced at a later date.
All seven Cadillac Racing drivers are participating in the on-track development of the Cadillac V-LMDh.
“I’m excited to race the Cadillac V-LMDh. I think it looks fantastic and it sounds even better,” Lynn said. “It’s going to really be one for the fans, especially when we take it to Le Mans. I know that the crowd at Le Mans are big fans of American V8s, and this car is going to be no different other than the fact that it’s going to be fighting for the overall victory, which I really believe it’s going to be a fantastic car. I think we’re going to make great memories. There’s one trophy that we’ve all got our minds on and it’s that one.”
Codeveloped by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis manufacturer Dallara, the V-LMDh features an all-new Cadillac 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 engine developed by GM’s Performance and Racing propulsion team based in Pontiac, Michigan. The new V-8 is paired to the LMDh spec energy recovery system and will serve as Cadillac’s first hybrid prototype race car.
What they’re saying
Earl Bamber: “I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac. I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for world championship and another Le Mans victory.
“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting.
“It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition. Hopefully, we can kickstart the 2023 season with success.
“The Cadillac V-LMDh car is phenomenal. Since day one we’ve been doing a lot of simulation work. I was lucky enough to be the first driver to get behind the wheel at Putnam and that was a really special moment. The whole team at Cadillac have done a fantastic job. It sounds phenomenal and I think the fans are going to love it. We can’t wait to race it at the start of the 2023 season.”
Alex Lynn: “I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing. It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.
“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus.
“I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.
“I think Earl and I work well together because we’re very close but also because we challenge each other. Whether it’s on our driving, on the setup of the car, we push and ask a lot of each other, but at the same time, there’s a lot of respect. We’ve thrilled to have Richard come on board and to continue growing a winning program.”
“After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.
“It’s a really exciting time to be a sports car drivers when you have all of the top manufacturers throwing everything at it. I personally enjoy helping develop cars and I’m excited for the beginning of Cadillac’s V-LMDh program.
“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time racing in WEC the last couple of years and particularly at Le Mans. 2023 will be my first year doing a full WEC campaign. I think it will be really exciting for a true American manufacturer to go and tackle the World Endurance Championship, which hasn’t been done for a long time. It’s a type of racing that I’m used to and was brought up on. I’m looking forward to the challenge and the calendar looks great. I can’t wait.”
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