Second Cadillac to compete in Spa round of WEC

Bourdais, van der Zande add to depth of preparation for Le Mans in Hypercar class

DETROIT (March 29, 2023) — A second Cadillac V-Series.R will join the Hypercar lineup for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on April 29.

The gold No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R, co-driven by Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande, will compete for the victory alongside the sister No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R in the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R, co-driven by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, is contesting the full WEC season. They combined to drive to a fourth-place finish in Cadillac Racing’s WEC Hypercar debut March 17 in the 1000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway and next will challenge for the win April 16 in the 6 Hours of Portimão at Algarve International Circuit.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to bring another Cadillac to the race at Spa in the FIA World Endurance Championship season,” said GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser. “Any opportunity that we have to prepare for Le Mans within the WEC rules and regulations is great.

“This will get the team even more ready to tackle that race as well as an opportunity to bring more Cadillac participation to the European race.”

Van der Zande has competed twice at Spa in LMP2 (2012, 2021), while Bourdais co-drove an LMP1 entry in 2012 and an LMP2 car in 2022 at the 4.35-mile, 20-turn Le Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Endurance racing has been taking place at Spa-Francorchamps for nearly 100 years and the 6 Hours of Spa has been a part of every WEC season to date.

“We are looking forward to the first WEC race where both of our Cadillac Hypercars will be participating,” said Mike O’Gara, director of operations for Chip Ganassi Racing which campaigns the Nos. 2 and 3 racecars in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype and WEC Hypercar classes. “Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing believe that we are stronger when we race multiple cars on any given race weekend. The Spa event will serve as a much-needed dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24-hour race.

“It will be a great opportunity for our ‘IMSA regulars’ to be immersed in the WEC rules and race procedures in anticipation of the big event in June.”

The Nos. 2 and 3 Cadillac V-Series.R racecars will be joined by the No. 311 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R for the centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Action Express Racing-prepared car claimed the pole for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17 and went on to post Cadillac’s 28th prototype victory since 2017 and its third in a row at Sebring International Raceway with Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken sharing the wheel..

“We can’t wait for the Whelen Engineering Cadillac to join us at Le Mans and bring the whole family back together again,” Klauser added.

The No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R, running as the No. 01 in the IMSA GTP class, earned a podium finish in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January and started from the front row in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The hybrid racecar led a field-high 120 laps and registered the fastest lap of the race (1 minute, 48.311 seconds; 124.308 mph) on the 3.741-mile, 17-turn course before retiring with a fuel distribution system issue.

Bourdais and van der Zande will aim to successfully defend their IMSA victory April 15 on the streets of Long Beach, California.

The Cadillac V-Series.R features an all-new Cadillac 5.5-liter DOHC V8 naturally aspirated engine developed by GM’s Performance and Racing propulsion team based in Pontiac, Michigan. The body, codeveloped by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis constructor Dallara, incorporates key Cadillac V-Series production car design elements.

Renger van der Zande

  • Birthdate: Feb. 16, 1986
  • Birthplace: Dodewaard, Netherlands
  • Residence: Amsterdam
  • Family: Wife Carlijn, daughter and son
  • At Spa: 2012 – Co-driver with Thomas Holzer and Mirco Schultis of No. 31 Lotus in LMP2; qualified the car fifth in class. DNF. … 2021 – Co-driver with Alex Brundle and Jakub Śmiechowski of No. 31 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 in LMP2; qualified 11th in class. Finished fifth in class and eighth overall.
  • 2023 results: Co-drove to third place in the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona after starting fourth; started second and classified eighth in class at the Twelve Hours of Sebring.
  • Notable: Co-drove to three victories in 2022. Win at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R upped his IMSA total to 18 wins, including eight with Cadillac Racing. … Two-time overall winner of Rolex 24 At Daytona in Cadillac DPi-V.R. … Won 2020 Petit Le Mans and Rolex 24. … 2016 IMSA GTLM champion. … Raced in Europe in Formula Renault, A1GP, GP2, German Touring Car, Porsche SuperCup, Intercontinental GT Challenge and WEC. … Marking 10th year of competing in sports car racing in the U.S. … Competed in two WEC races in 2022 in LMP2 class with Vector Sport.
  • Twitter: @Rengervdz

Quick Q&A: What fuels your competitive spirit? “To make the most out of and to optimize the whole package; the car, the team, the drivers, the strategy, and all the factors that get thrown at you during a race. It takes all everything to win a race and when you’ve done it better than others, that’s a good day.”

In one sentence, how would you describe the art of driving? “Finding the limit of your car for the conditions that are available.”

Sebastien Bourdais

  • Birthdate: Feb. 28, 1979
  • Birthplace: Le Mans, France
  • Residence: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Family: Wife Claire, daughter and son
  • At Spa: 2012 – Co-driver with Nicolas Minassian of No. 9 Pescarolo Team LMP1 entry; qualified the car ninth. Finished 15th overall. 2022 – Co-driver with Ryan Cullen and Nico Müller of No. 10 Vector Sport LMP2 entry. Finished 16th overall.
  • 2023 results: Co-drove to third place in the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona after starting fourth; started on front row and classified eighth in class in Twelve Hours of Sebring.
  • Notable: Co-drove to the 2021 Twelve Hours of Sebring victory in a Cadillac DPi-V.R. … Earned pole for 2022 Twelve Hours of Sebring with qualifying lap record of 1:45.166. … Co-drove the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R to three victories in 2022. Victory at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park was his 10th IMSA win. … Competed in select WEC races in 2022 in LMP2 class. … Ford GT driver for Chip Ganassi Racing 2016-2018; won Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2014 and 2017. … 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Pro class winner in 2016. … Competed in Formula One in 2008. … Four-time INDYCAR champion (2004-07); won 37 races total in Champ Car and INDYCAR.
  • Twitter: @BourdaisOnTrack

Quick Q&A: What fuels your competitive spirit? “Racing was my passion well before it became my job and thankfully the passion has remained. There is nothing else that excites and fulfils me more than driving a race car.” In one sentence, how would you describe the art of driving? “For me, it’s all about being one with the car. When you reach that state, it’s the most satisfying feel I know.”

No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R

Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais

Van der Zande and Bourdais return for their second season as teammates for the full IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Grand Touring Prototype season and two races in the FIA World Endurance Championship. They teamed with six-time INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon to place third in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. In 2022, van der Zande and Bourdais co-drove the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R to three victories — at Long Beach on April 9, at Belle Isle on June 4 and at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on July 3 – starting from the pole in the former 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 Twelve Hours of Sebring and for the Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio.

No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R

Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Richard Westbrook

Second-year entry in expanded Cadillac Racing factory program that is contesting the full WEC calendar. … The trio co-drove to fourth place in the IMSA season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in preparation for the seven-race WEC season. They co-drove to fourth place in Cadillac Racing’s WEC debut March 17 in the 1000 Miles of Sebring. . … Bamber and Lynn return as teammates for the second year. They co-drove to the victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2022, along with runner-up finishes on the streets of Long Beach and Road America in the No. 02 Cadillac DPi-V.R. … They are joined for the 2023 season by veteran sports car racing driver Richard Westbrook, who co-drove a Cadillac DPi-V.R last season with JDC-Miller MotorSports. … Bamber, who owns his own race team, 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. … Westbrook earned an overall podium finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2022. … Lynn most recently competed in the full WEC season in 2018-19. He was the teammate of Cadillac Racing driver Alexander Sims in the 2020-21 Formula E season.

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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