Cadillac at Le Mans: Taking aim at overall victory

Drivers of three Cadillac Racing V-Series.Rs ready for endurance test in centenary race

LE MANS, France (June 9, 2023) – Speed, reliability and consistently quick pit stops are important ingredients — among a myriad of others — to prevailing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Cadillac Racing’s trio of Cadillac V-Series.R hybrid racecars have displayed all three, with the two full-time Grand Touring Prototype cars each winning an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race and the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R entering the endurance classic a respectable fourth in the standings in its initial FIA World Endurance Championship season.

This weekend, man and machine will be tested again in the 91st renewal of competition at Circuit de la Sarthe. Cadillac’s last visit was in 2002, and the last American manufacturer to win the overall title came in 1969.

For a different point of view

Cadillac.com/live is the home for on-track action from Circuit de la Sarthe from a different perspective than the MotorTrend (U.S.), Velocity (Canada) and Eurosport (Europe) TV feeds — from the cockpits of the three Cadillac V-Series.R racecars.

Updates hosted by NBC’s Briam Till, special guest interviews and other surprises are part of the programming. Watch starting at 3:45 p.m. CEST/9:45 a.m. ET June 10.

What they’re saying

No. 2 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R (qualified sixth)

Earl Bamber: “It’s fantastic to here at Le Mans racing in the top category and it’s awesome to be here with Cadillac Racing. To return to the top class of Le Mans is something really special. We’re looking to put on a great performance and hopefully achieve all our dreams and be the first American manufacturer to win the overall in many years. The car has been great. It’s been a long journey, which started for me in mid-2021 with simulator work, and now to see it on track with two cars in the Hyperpole for the 100th running of the 24 hours is something fantastic for the whole team at Cadillac Racing.”

Richard Westbrook: “The car is really comfortable to drive, not too edgy, which is important when you have to drive it for 24 hours. That’s what you want and what we have. It’s quick as well. It’s so nice to drive this car finally at Le Mans. It’s been too long since we’ve had so many cars evenly matched in the top class. It’s what every fan wants and what everyone was crying out for — more cars and more manufacturers in the top class. And now we’ve got it. Each car is quick in different places, bi the overall pace is very tight. I’ll tell the fans and those watching on TV to savor it, enjoy it. It’s going to be a classic. I feel proud to be here with Cadillac Racing, bringing back Cadillac to Le Mans after such a long period out. There is so much that has gone into this project, and to come away with a win or even a podium would be absolutely fantastic.”

Alex Lynn: “The driver crew that we have is extremely motivated to succeed and we’re pushing each other. I think that’s shown in our results, in that sometimes we might have a bad moment or we’re not right on the pace as we are still developing, but every single time the checkered flag falls we’ve bagged a result and we’ve been there. That’s important. We’re fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, right there close to third. I think that’s because we dig in and we fight for a performance every single time the race is on.

Winning Le Mans takes perfection. From our side, it’s a difficult race to win but the most rewarding.”

No. 3 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R (qualified eighth)

Sebastien Bourdais: “Since the car hit the track for the first time last July, it’s been a lot of work but a lot of fun developing this new car. We have all the tools we need to fight for the victory, which as a driver is all you can ask for. It’s a huge effort. We’re not here for show; we’re here for the real deal. It’s still an endurance race, of course it’s a 24-hour sprint first and foremost, but you can’t make any mistakes. Having an opportunity like this with Cadillac, being a factory driver and coming back to Le Mans as a contender for victory is an honor. (About being the local hero in race) “There have been a lot of requests of me being the local guy, but you always have to think back. It’s the biggest endurance race in the world, a huge crowd and if they were not there we wouldn’t be either.”

Renger van der Zande: “It’s the most famous classic race in the world and that’s what we’re aiming to win. I think Cadillac is a super American brand. I’ve been racing in America for 10 years and most of my time with Cadillac, so going with my American racing family as I call them to go for the Le Mans overall victory is something special. A lot of people from Holland will be watching us fight for the overall win, and that would be special.”

Scott Dixon: “Coming here with Cadillac, with all the centenary celebrations and in the premier category of endurance , is very special. The formula has also changed, with the organizers grouping all the LMDhs and LMHs together, which is pretty cool. This is a great moment for motorsport. I think we have a good shot at doing well. We have all the tools to fight for a podium.”

No. 311 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R (qualified 12th)

Pipo Derani: “To race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with this group of guys that we’ve achieved so much with is incredible. It’ll be a dream come true for the 100th anniversary. We are here as one Cadillac team in a way, so we are definitely trying to do the best we can for the brand with one objective, which is to try and give Cadillac a strong result here at Le Mans.”

Alexander Sims: “We’ve had good sessions and have shown race pace. Now we need to execute in all phases during the race. The team has been preparing for this race for a long time already, so they’ll do a good job. We’ll give it our best shot.”

Jack Aitken: “I’m excited. There is still a bit of a question mark on how the race is going to play out both with the weather with some thunderstorms hanging around and the race pace of all the cars. We’ve got a good spread of manufacturers across the field and I think that’s going to make for a good race. We’re just focusing on executing the best race we can and we’ll see where that puts us.”

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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