Alex Lynn doesn’t have much time in a DPi car, having only one former outing in a Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac at Sebring. But as he prepares for his second race in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 02 Cadillac at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advanced Auto Parts, the British driver says it’s feels comfortable and correct.
“I feel like it’s coming home, to be honest,” he explains. “I think high-powered downforce cars were always my bread and butter from when I was coming up through the ranks over in Europe and open-wheel racing. And then I went straight from open-wheel racing into DPi and LMP2 and testing LMP1. I then went and did Formula E for four years, as well as being in the Aston team in the GTE in the World Endurance Championship. So it’s been sort of like coming back.”
Lynn is partnered with Earl Bamber for the full IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson joined them for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, but with those two tied up at Texas Motor Speedway for the NTT IndyCar Series, Neil Jani is serving in the third driver role. Between the three of them, they have only three previous races in a Cadillac DPi, and in that matter, Lynn is actually the elder statesman. But testing at Sebring before the event left them in good position to go quickly right out of the box.
While Bamber has much more extensive IMSA experience, having several seasons (and a 2019 championship) in the Porsche 911 RSR GTLM car, Lynn is acclimating to it. But so far the 28-year-old from near London is loving it.
“It’s fun to adjust to. You’re always in a race. And, as a racing driver, that’s what you love — the combat, the pressure, the split-second decisions; that’s what this style of racing, emphasizes,” he says. “For me, that’s what is great fun about it. It’s something new to learn, but I’ve been really loving it and embracing it, especially compared to the European style, where it’s more like the race doesn’t get broken up at all. If you’re quickest, you’re going to go and win the race. Whereas here, there are so many elements that you need to get right to win the race.”
When Chip Ganassi Racing went testing with its 2022 drivers last year, it wasn’t determined what the pairings would be. But once Lynn and Bamber started working together, it was clear they would be good partners.
“We really like working together and we’re similar in age as well, similar stages of life, which I think is important with your teammate,” says Bamber, a 31-year-old New Zealander. “We’ve tended to like the same car, we’ve both been quick in the car, so it’s pretty relaxed and easy. From that point of view, it’s been pretty good.”
The respect goes both ways, obviously, and Lynn especially appreciates Bamber’s experience int he championship.
“I actually think Earl and I are meshing really, really well. Earl’s record speaks for itself to be honest, I mean, double Le Mans winner, World Endurance champ, IMSA champ…. So he’s a great teammate to have, especially in trying to put a championship run together in this formula. I’ve always been used to the European style; so now it’s about how do I maximize this championship and all the nuance that goes into that. Having a teammate like Earl is fantastic,” Lynn says.
The No. 02 Cadillac had a strong showing at Daytona until a fuel delivery problem struck it Sunday morning, so Lynn, Bamber and Jani will be looking for redemption in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which starts at 10:10 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday.