Cadillac Racing confirms 2023 WEC driver line-up
Bamber, Lynn and Westbrook bring talent and experience to Cadillac V Hypercar programme
Cadillac Racing has confirmed its driver line-up for the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar class for the Cadillac V-LMDh race car.
Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who co-drove the No. 02 Cadillac DPi-V.R to victory in the 2022 Twelve Hours of Sebring, will be joined by veteran sports car racer Richard Westbrook to drive the Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared Cadillac V-LMDh.
The 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 drivers of the all-new Cadillac 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 Grand Touring Prototype 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 line-up brings a considerable amount of talent and experience to the 2023 WEC calendar which 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.
“I’m 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. I’m looking forward to fighting for the world championship and another Le Mans victory,” said Bamber.
“The World Endurance Championship 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.”
Lynn, who has driven in 28 WEC races since 2016, won the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020 and also took LMGTE Pro class victories at Spa in 2017 and 2018.
“I’m excited to race the Cadillac V-LMDh. I think it looks fantastic and it sounds even better,” said Lynn. “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.
“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 or on the set-up of the car, we push and ask a lot of each other, but at the same time, there's a lot of respect. In a way, there's a little bit of brotherly love which is great, and I think it's needed in a successful sports car team. We’ve thrilled to have Richard come on board and to continue growing a winning programme.”
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,
“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,” said Westbrook.
“It’s a really exciting time to be a sports car driver 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-team-mate 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 duelling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”
Co-developed by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis manufacturer Dallara, the V-LMDh features an all-new Cadillac 5.5-litre 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.