Cadillac is returning to big-time sports-car racing in 2017 with two entries in the Daytona Prototype international class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series.
Called Cadillac DPi-V.R models, they’ll make their racing debut at the seasoning-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29, 2017 – arguably the toughest race of the ten-race season. That season includes the historic 12 hours of Sebring, a July 9 stop in Canada at Canadian Tire Mororsport Park (Mosport) and the season-ending 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series is the fastest and most technologically advanced sports car racing series in North America. “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.
While the brand has achieved considerable racing success in recent years with its production-based ATS-V and CTS-V race cars, its previous foray into prototype endurance racing, from 2000 to 2002, met with disappointing results.
This time around, its Cadillac DPi-V.R cars are based on spec Dallara chassis, with bodywork that incorporates Cadillac design cues. Design details are said to include Cadillac’s signature vertical lamp layout, sculpted bodywork and bodyside feature line, V-Performance emblems and wheels with Brembo brakes and a canopy graphic inspired by the Cadillac daylight opening.
The cars are powered by engines that share their “inherent architecture” with those of the Cadillac CTS-V and Escalade – in other words, racing derivatives of GM’s ‘small blocks’ as used in Corvette-branded Daytona Prototypes in the past.
Both the teams campaigning the new Cadillac racers – Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing – previously ran Corvette prototypes, the former winning the series’ championship the past three years running.
The DPi-V.R is equipped with the new digital Rear Camera Mirror first seen on the Cadillac CT6 Sedan and available on the Cadillac CTS, XT5 and Escalade for the 2017 model year.