No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R just misses podium finish in 1000 Miles of Sebring
SEBRING, Fla. (March 17, 2023) — On the 11th anniversary of the first FIA World Endurance Championship race – on the Sebring International Raceway course – Cadillac Racing made an impressive debut in the Hypercar class.
The No. 2 Cadillac-V-Series.R co-driven by Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Richard Westbrook battled cockpit heat during afternoon temperatures that reach 84 degrees Fahrenheit, an international field of 11 Hypercars and the usual unpredictable 3.741-mile, 17-turn racecourse to place fourth in the 1000 Miles of Sebring.
Bamber, closing out the eight-hour race, finished 10.127 seconds out of the final podium spot. The No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry, which is comprised of three former Cadillac Racing drivers from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi era, won the race.
Like its run in the IMSA season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January, the reliability and overall speed of the hybrid Cadillac racecar stood out.
“In 2022, the development of this car, the testing schedule, everything that we went through was so tough on the team, but we are seeing the results and we are so proud of all that work and effort that we put in. It was worth it,” said GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser. “We have a solid car and we can’t wait to get to the rest of the WEC season and the IMSA season and show the world how great it is.
“Every time we turn the car on we learn something. Whether if we move it or even if it sits still, we learn something and the racing is the best way possible to learn. So we can only grow and get better.”
The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R ran as high as third on multiple occasions to the twin Toyota LMH entries. Bamber led the way with 3 hours, 36 minutes (118 of the 237 laps) behind the wheel.
“No doubt it’s a strong and positive day for Cadillac Racing,” said Lynn, who drove to the fifth-place starting spot Thursday. “We started our WEC campaign with a fourth place and I think we would have taken that at the start of the weekend. This is the first time everyone has worked together on a brand new program, and to come 10 seconds within a podium with a team as strong as Ferrari is just a fantastic start with so much more to improve on.”
The six-hour race April 16 in Portimao, Portugal, is next on the WEC schedule. The hybrid Cadillac racecar will soon travel to its European base in Wedlingen, Germany, and be prepared for the second of seven rounds.
“The car was great. The pace was better than we expected, and we took advantage at the end of one of the Ferraris misfortune, but we’re racing for the podium and we gave it all we got,” said team manager and strategist Stephen Mitas. “We’ll keep giving it the same effort we’ve given it so far and try to build on this good result.”
Earlier in the day, the sister Cadillac V-Series.Rs swept the front row for the 71st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Pipo Derani, seeking his fourth overall victory in the race, qualified on pole with a lap of 1 minute, 45.836 seconds in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R. Sebastien Bourdais drove the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R to second with a lap of 1:45.923. Cadillac has won the past two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races at Sebring and four of the past six.
No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R
Alex Lynn: “No doubt it’s a strong and positive day for Cadillac Racing. We started our WEC campaign with a fourth place and I think we would have taken that at the start of the weekend. This is the first time everyone has worked together on a brand new program, and to come 10 seconds within a podium with a team as strong as Ferrari is just a fantastic start with so much more to improve on. We’re a team that wants to achieve good things, so whilst we respect it as a good result we come away feeling like we wanted more.”
Earl Bamber: “That was a tough one. We were fighting for a podium with the Ferrari and a little bit unlucky with a full-course yellow at the end. We were sort of best of the rest, so we’re going to push on. The team did a fantastic job first time in LMDh and it’s on to Portimao for the next race.”
Richard Westbrook: “I think we executed brilliantly. Obviously, it’s a new format for everyone, a new team since Daytona and to come very close to a podium on our WEC debut is awesome for this whole Cadillac program. I’m just very proud of everyone. We stayed out of trouble and on another day we could have gotten third. We’re only going to go forward now. We got so much data now to go through. It’s just so invaluable. It beats any eight-hour test.”