Caddy's first Le Mans in 20 years will be with this V8 hybrid racer
By Matt Bird / Thursday, 9 June 2022 / Loading comments
Some of you will no doubt be on the way to Le Mans, and what a weekend that promises to be after so long away. But already excitement is building for 2023; on Monday we saw BMW’s new contender, the M Hybrid V8, and now another entrant for the Hypercar class has been unveiled: the Cadillac Project GTP.
Alright, so it’s not the finished thing just yet, hence ‘Project’ in the name and the promise that this “previews the third-generation prototype race car” from Cadillac. We can only hope the finished thing looks this awesome, though. Like BMW and the kidney grilles, there’s chance for this GTP to show off brand signatures – see the vertical lighting and floating blades – while also captivating a Le Mans crowd with the kind of silhouette that looks straight from a comic book.
A V8 will help curry favour, too, as so many of the American entrants to sportscar racing have over the years. The GTP will be an LMdH entrant, meaning the spec hybrid system that all its rivals will have (including the BMW), but here allied to Caddy’s own 5.5 V8. The Hypercar class next year will be comprised of Le Mans Hypercars like the Peugeot 9X8, with bespoke chassis and hybrid systems, and the Le Mans Daytona Hybrids, with the control hybrid parts and common chassis which make them less expensive to build.
To that end, Cadillac Design and Cadillac Racing are working with Dallara to get the GTP on track. There’s no little pressure on it, too, given Caddy’s formidable record when it comes to sportscar racing. The previous DPi-V.R. won the Daytona 24 Hours four times in a row, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Chamionship three times in five years and took four victories in the Michelin North American Endurance Cup. Which is to say nothing of Cadillac’s success in the Pirelli World Challenge Championship earlier in the 21st century. Perhaps it’s not the first name that comes to mind when thinking of sportscar success, but there’ll be an expectation on the GTP to do well.
Testing will commence later in the summer, with the Cadillac’s first race nothing less important than Daytona in January. That Le Mans return, the first Cadillac there in 20 years, will be a biggie as well. “By competing in both the 2023 IMSA and WEC championships, Cadillac Racing has the opportunity to demonstrate its capability, craftsmanship and technology” said Vice President Rory Harvey. If the real car can live up the promise of this incredible preview, it’ll be a memorable return to La Sarthe.
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