Sebastien Bourdais: “We played the long game”

2 Mins read
Credit: Marius Hecker / DPPI

Cadillac Racing are taking a lot of positives from their result in the season opener of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The American team were the “best of the rest” after finishing fourth behind an all-Porsche podium at the Qatar 1812km. Drivers Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Sebastien Bourdais all put in stellar efforts to bring home a good result at the Lusail International Circuit.

The Cadillac V-Series.R held its own in a very competitive Hypercar field at the start of the new golden era of endurance racing. Contact at the first corner initially knocked the Cadillac out of contention. While difficult to see exactly what happened, the car squirmed under braking due to getting pinched into an ever-decreasing gap, causing the Cadillac to tag the back of the #94 Peugeot TotalEnergies car.

The dark blue Cadillac in the middle of the pack on the run down to the chaotic first corner. Credit: Ferrari Media Centre

However, the 1812 kilometre race had almost ten hours left to run. The Cadillac pitted for a new nose on lap 33. Once back out on track, Lynn was matching the pace of the lead pack, showing just how competitive the car can be. Bourdais’s first stint from lap 67 was arguably most impressive, thundering his way through the pack up to tenth position.

Throughout the rest of the race, the team performed consistently well, with Bamber taking the car up into the top five. Bourdais took back over on lap 269 and brought the car home in fourth place after the #93 Peugeot ran out of fuel on the penultimate lap.

Alex Lynn, who was in the car for the opening lap incident, said “We knew we had good pace in the car this weekend. Considering first race of the year and the way the race started, I think we’ll definitely take the result.”

Earl Bamber, while reflecting on the race, said “I think it gives us great momentum. The team did an amazing job and on the strategy they did a solid job to pull us all the way back up.” He added that, “if you would have said at the beginning of the day that we would get a fourth place, I think we would have taken that comfortably. It’s something that we can build on going to Imola and Spa and the rest of the season.”

We found ourselves in a hole at the beginning and we played the long game” explained Sebastien Bourdais. “That was really the plan going into the race. We stuck to the plan and soon we saw that guys were getting away from the 10-stint strategy. We said, ‘If we can stick with it, then that could be a really good result,’ and that’s exactly what happened. Really happy for the team and I had a lot of fun in the car. It’s a cool place to drive and a fun race.

Credit: Chip Ganassi Racing

Cadillac Racing will be hoping to build on this momentum at the next round of the FIA WEC at Imola on 19-21 April. They will have to work hard to maintain their form against an ever-improving pack.

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