Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook have been confirmed as the full season driving trio for Cadillac Racing’s single car Hypercar class effort in the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The trio will be campaigning their Cadillac V-LMDh in the seven WEC races confirmed last week, including Cadillac’s first outing to the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2002. They are expected to be added to the entry list for the centenary Le Mans. Man 24 hours. by at least one additional Cadillac entry.
The trio will also compete in January in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening round of the nine-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, in the Grand Touring Prototype class, the racing debut of the new Cadillac.
“We look forward to new challenges by competing in the V-LMDh in the World Endurance Championship,” said Cadillac Global Vice President Rory Harvey.
“Bringing together a team of world-class drivers is paramount to our success next year and Cadillac Racing has achieved that.”
Bamber has taken two overall wins from his five starts at Le Mans and was the 2019 IMSA GTLM Champion. He is a double Porsche Supercup Champion and was the 2017 FIA WEC World Drivers Champion.
Lynn, who has completed 28 WEC races since 2016, won the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020 and also took victories in the LMGTE Pro class at Spa in 2017 and 2018.
Westbrook, who took an overall podium finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Glickenhaus Hypercar in June, is an 11-time race winner in IMSA, where he took a class win in the 2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona with Chip Ganassi Racing.
He is also a former works driver of Porsche, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford and Aston Martin and has raced at Le Mans for the last three, Porsche Supercup Champion and GT2 Champion.
This season, the JDC Miller Cadillac DPi-VR took second place at Sebring and took third place at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Long Beach.
The WEC crew joins the two full-season IMSA squads already announced on Cadillac’s GTP roster in North America:
Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais, who drove the #01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-VR to three wins last season, will continue as teammates in a Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared Cadillac V-LMDh.
Pipo Derani, the 2021 IMSA DPi champion, will be paired up with Alexander Sims in the sister Cadillac V-LMDh prepared by Action Express Racing.
Additional drivers for endurance races on the IMSA GTP schedule for 2023, starting with the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29, will be announced at a later date.
All seven Cadillac Racing drivers are participating in the development of the Cadillac V-LMDh on the track, with three days of testing at Road Atlanta starting today.
“I am excited to race the Cadillac V-LMDh. I think it looks great and it sounds even better,” said Lynn. “It’s really going to be one for the fans, especially if we take it to Le Mans. I know the crowd at Le Mans is big fans of American V8s, and this car will be no different than the fact that it is going to fight for the overall win which I really believe is going to be a fantastic car I think we are going to make great memories there is one trophy that we are all working on and it’s that one.”
Co-developed by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis manufacturer Dallara, the V-LMDh features an all-new Cadillac 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 engine developed by GM’s Performance and Racing propulsion team in Pontiac, Michigan. The new V-8 is mated to the LMDh-spec energy recovery system and will serve as Cadillac’s first hybrid prototype race car.
Earl Bamber: “I am very happy to continue with Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac. I enjoyed my first season in DPi and now moving on to LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. I’m looking forward to fighting for the World Championship and another Le Mans win.
“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race in the greatest race in the world, Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s clearly a huge target for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. Having that goal in mind is really exciting.
“It was great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We have been able to learn and grow together in the DPi and we have a very good cooperation in the WEC. We know each other very well and believe that adding Richard will be a seamless transition. Hopefully we can start the 2023 season successfully.
“The Cadillac V-LMDh car is phenomenal. We have done a lot of simulation work since day one. I was lucky enough to be the first driver to get behind the wheel in Putnam and that was a very special moment. The whole Cadillac team has done a fantastic job. It sounds phenomenal and I think the fans will love it.”
Alex Lynn: “I am absolutely excited to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing. It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity, but sure, in a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so it’s a huge privilege to be able to represent them. It’s been a lot of fun in my first year and to continue that on the World Endurance Championship podium is fantastic.
“For me, returning to the WEC is kind of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a little different with getting to know all new tracks and a new style of racing, so 2023 will be filled with a little bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus.
“I think the most important thing about the WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything we want to win. It is a huge honor to bring Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to compete for overall honors and that is something I will work tirelessly to make sure we achieve that.
“I think Earl and I work well together because we’re very close, but also because we challenge each other. Whether it’s our driving behaviour, the set-up of the car, we push and ask a lot of each other, but at the same time there is a lot of respect. In a way, there’s a bit of brotherly love, which is great, and I think it’s necessary in a successful sports car team. We are delighted that Richard has come on board and that we can continue to build a winning program.
“I am excited to race the Cadillac V-LMDh. I think it looks great and it sounds even better. It really will be one for the fans, especially if we take it to Le Mans. I know the crowd at Le Mans are big fans of American V8s, and this car will be no different than the fact that it’s going to fight for the overall win, which I really believe is going to be a fantastic car. I think we’re going to make great memories.
There’s one trophy we’re all working on and it’s that one.”
Richard Westbrook: “After four really good years with Chip Ganassi Racing I have so many friends there and I’ve always dreamed of coming back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m glad we found a route to get back together. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.
“It’s a really exciting time to be a sports car driver when all the top manufacturers are willing to give it their all. Personally, I enjoy helping develop cars and I look forward to the start of Cadillac’s V-LMDh program.
“I feel like I know Alex and Earl very well. I drove Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same kind of racing whether it’s in WEC or IMSA. We’ve had a lot of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We have always got along well and I can say that we are going to have a great year together.
“I have really enjoyed my time racing in the WEC over the past few years and especially at Le Mans. 2023 will be my first year doing a full WEC campaign. I think it will be very exciting for a real American manufacturer to take on the World Endurance Championship, which has not been done for a long time. It’s a kind of racing that I’m used to and grew up with. I’m looking forward to the challenge and the calendar looks great. I can not wait.”