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WEC Portimao

Maiden WEC podium for Cadillac possible with perfect Portimao race - Lynn

Alex Lynn believes a maiden World Endurance Championship podium for his Cadillac Racing team will be possible “if we execute a perfect race” in Portimao on Sunday.

#2 Cadillac Racing USA Cadillac V-Series.R Hybrid Hypecar: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn , Richard Westbrook

The new Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh finished fourth on its WEC debut at last month’s Sebring 1000 Miles and will start tomorrow’s six-hour race from eighth on the grid.

Richard Westbrook qualified the solo Cadillac Hypercar entry he shares with Lynn and Earl Bamber 2.411s down on polesitter Brendon Hartley’s #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID at the Algarve International Circuit.

Speaking prior to qualifying, where both Ferrari 499P LMHs, the two Penske Porsche 963 LMDhs and the #94 Peugeot 9X8 LMH outpaced the Cadillac, Lynn expressed hope that the Chip Ganassi Racing-run car can challenge the podium places with an error-free race and stressed that it is not content to be the best LMDh entry.

Asked by Autosport for a feasible weekend target, Lynn replied: “I think another top-five. And again if we execute a perfect race, we can be on the podium.

“We consider Toyota to be the benchmark, I think everyone does.

“Ferrari have come out of the box with a very fast car, especially over one lap, but in race trim we think we can beat them or we can be with them and that’s what we want to do tomorrow.

“We want to be with Ferrari fighting for the podium and if we can come closer to Toyota and maybe make them make a mistake, that’s what everyone is trying to do.”

#2 Cadillac Racing - Cadillac V-Series.R - Hybrid - Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Richard Westbrook

#2 Cadillac Racing - Cadillac V-Series.R - Hybrid - Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Richard Westbrook

Photo by: Paul Foster

Bamber said he believes Cadillac could be stronger than the AF Corse-run Ferrari 499P LMHs on tyre wear in the race.

Speaking prior to qualifying, Bamber told Autosport: “Free practice was pretty much as expected given that we’ve never tested here.

“I think our strong point is on tyre deg. We saw that at Sebring.”

Lynn believes that it will be a question of time for Cadillac to get closer to the more established WEC manufacturers, with Toyota benefitting from continuity in its driver lineup and team leadership despite bringing an updated car for 2023.

“To try and catch that up does take a little bit of time, but the work ethic of us, Porsche, Ferrari to catch up is super-high,” he added.

“The amount of people that are going testing to try and bring the level up – the work rate is the highest I’ve seen in my career, from every team.”

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Speaking on Friday, Toyota’s Mike Conway said that the increased Hypercar competition had helped it to find more improvements on its own package.

“I think we’d always chase our own tail anyway in terms of trying to maximise performance all the time,” he said.

“But yeah, I think it does help when you’ve got competition out there. Whether it’s a certain sector or a certain corner where we can see that they’re faster, we need to know why.

“Maybe you wouldn’t have seen that as clearly before when you were just racing on your own, it’s more between the two cars. So it definitely raises everyone’s game.”

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