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WEC Bahrain

Cadillac can fight for Bahrain WEC podium after Fuji disaster, say drivers

Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn feel Cadillac has bounced back from a disastrous World Endurance Championship at Fuji and can aim for a podium in Saturday's Bahrain season finale.

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

The Chip Ganassi run-factory team endured a nightmare outing at Fuji in September, with its sole Cadillac V.Series.R finishing 10 laps down on the winning Toyota after struggling for pace and losing a chunk of time repairing damage caused by a loose wheel.

But Cadillac's LMDh has proved rapid so far in the Bahrain 8 Hours round, with Lynn putting the car he shares with Bamber and Richard Westbrook a strong third on the grid behind the Toyotas after an impressive run in the three practice sessions.

This has raised hopes that Cadillac can end its first season in WEC on the podium, with Bamber saying the team’s improved fortunes are a result of the work it put in after the Fuji event.

“I think we have bounced back good [from Fuji],” the Kiwi told Motorsport.com before qualifying. “We rolled off and we did a lot of sim work and a lot of preparations.

“So I think we have definitely done our homework and come out much more on the front.”

He added: “The last half of the season we have definitely gotten better and better operating, just things haven't gone our way.

“I think here again in Bahrain we have the potential to fight for the last spot on the podium if everything goes well.”

Toyota has lost only three races at the Bahrain International Circuit since the Gulf venue first joined the WEC calendar in 2012, with its last defeat coming during the peak of the LMP1 era in 2016.

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

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

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

Asked if Cadillac can emerge as the strongest rival to Toyota in Bahrain this weekend, Lynn told Motorsport.com: “That would be the best.

”If we can be the closest challengers and maybe put them....try and be there with them. It's always our goal anyway to fight them."

He added: “I think we are definitely in a stronger place [compared to Japan]. We have worked very hard since Fuji to make steps, maybe sometimes you need to have a disappointing day to make a strong step back.

“So from our side I think we are looking better.”

Although Lynn put in an impressive performance to bag a place on the second row, he was still seven slower tenths slower than the time set by Brendon Hartley in the pole-sitting #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID.

The Toyota LMH car is known to be extremely kind of its tyres, something that could play a major role in deciding the outcome of Saturday’s race.

Asked if Toyota’s strength in this area could mean the Japanese manufacturer will be out of reach, Lynn said: ”They are looking extremely strong.

”Of course this is racing so anything can happen, but generally they do look very very good.”

#2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Alex Lynn

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

#2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Alex Lynn

Lynn also expects LMDh rival Porsche to be in the fight for best-of-the-rest team behind the dominant Toyota.

“Porsche are also looking good as well,” he said. “It's going to be a close race with them.

“They have the factory cars and the Jota and the Proton, so having four of them and they all look good. It's going to be fun. I'm excited.”

Cadillac's first and only podium of the season to date came at the Le Mans 24 Hours, where Lynn, Bamber and Westbrook finished third behind the winning Ferrari and second-placed Toyota.

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