After a 14-year absence, Cadillac announced today it is back in prototype racing.
The General Motors flagship brand officially confirmed the program Wednesday, with the DPi-V.R Caddy set to make its debut in the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2017 as part of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype international class. The DPi-V.R is built to the new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) formula devised by IMSA.
“It is not possible to overstate how thrilled all of us at IMSA are to officially welcome Cadillac, one of the world’s most respected premium automotive brands, back to prototype racing in the WeatherTech Championship,” said IMSA president Scott Atherton. “This is exactly the type of program we had in mind when we announced the Daytona Prototype international concept last year.
“As we open a new era of prototype competition in 2017, we now have three benchmark examples of manufacturers using this platform to showcase their impressive and unique technology at the highest level. We cannot wait to get the new era underway in just a few short weeks at Daytona.”
The Dallara-chassied Cadillac was the first 2017-spec LMP2 style car to run in September and has since completed additional tests at NCM Motorsports Park, Watkins Glen, as well as a 24-hour endurance test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Cadillac – with Wayne Taylor Racing handling most of the early development, with team veterans Ricky and Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli back at the wheel – has been testing the car in private, including at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park, Watkins Glen, and a 24-hour endurance test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Speaking of the Corvette, two-time and defending Prototype champion Action Express is likewise making the move from Corvette DPs but will keep the same drivers, including Dane Cameron, Eric Curran, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi.
“Cadillac is proud to return to the pinnacle of prototype racing in North America after a 14-year absence,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. “Cadillac’s V-Performance production models — the ATS-V and CTS-V — are transforming our brand’s product substance, earning a place among the world’s elite high performance marques.
“The Cadillac DPi-V.R further strengthens our V-Performance portfolio, placing Cadillac into the highest series of sports car racing in North America.”
Despite heavy camouflage, styling details of the car can still be made out, with apparent nods to the current CTS and CT6 at the front and rear, and even the wheels will have the same black finish as the CTS-V.
“The DPi-V.R race car was an exciting new canvas for the Cadillac design and sculpting team,” said Andrew Smith, Global Cadillac Design executive director. “The studio embraced the opportunity to interpret the Cadillac form language, line work and graphic signature for this premier prototype racing application. “Every detail of the final design was selected to support the car’s on-track performance and unmistakable Cadillac presence.”
Under the hood, the new Cadillac will compete with a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 capable of 600 horsepower, based on the powerplants available in the CTS-V and Escalade, along with an X-TRAC paddle-shift transmission.
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