Cadillac Racing at Fuji: Tough day in Japan

No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R overcomes issues to place 10th in the six-hour race

OYAMA, Japan (Sept. 10, 2023) – Spectators comprising record attendance of 54,700 for an FIA World Endurance Championship race at Fuji International Speedway were treated to an intriguing and dramatic six-hour race.

It was much too dramatic in the eyes of the No 2 Cadillac V-Series.R team.

After qualifying in the top six of the Hypercar classification for the fourth time in six races, Alex Lynn was running in the top five through the lone safety car period of the race and the initial round of pit stops.

Tire degradation late in Lynn’s second hour in the hybrid racecar on the 16-turn, 2.84-mile road course played a major factor in the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R fading to eighth when he pitted and gave way to Richard Westbrook.

Compounding the issue over the final 4 hours, 2 minutes were two drive-thru penalties for infractions and an eight-minute garage visit after the left-front wheel ring sheared off and the tire left the hub and out of harm’s way on the track. Earl Bamber brought the car to pit lane with 1 hour, 40 minutes left.

After repairs, Bamber soldiered on for 10th place in class, tying the team’s lowest finish in the six races. The pole-sitting No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMH, featuring former Cadillac Racing endurance race drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway, won its home race.

Media resource: Cadillac Racing high-resolution images for editorial use

The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R is still one of only five Hypercars to be running at the finish of every race. Cadillac Racing’s initial WEC season concludes Nov. 4 with the Eight Hours of Bahrain at the 3.363-mile (5.412-kilometer), 15-turn Bahrain International Circuit.

This week, the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R and No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R will look for victory in the penultimate race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

What they’re saying

Alex Lynn: “Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day for a few reasons, but we’ll learn a lot, regroup and go again in Bahrain.”

Earl Bamber: “It was a disappointing race after a solid qualifying that put us in position to challenge for another podium. Being a completely new team in the WEC and the first time at the track with this car, we’re learning. We’ll take the lessons from Fuji and move on to Bahrain.”

Richard Westbrook: “Tough race for us. We really turned things around after a difficult Friday. Alex did a fantastic job in qualifying. He gave us a lot of hope in the race, but we have a few headwinds. The car is just very difficult to drive over a double stint. We’ll learn, get better and look forward to Bahrain.”

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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