Cadillac has confirmed that it will contest the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2023 with its all-new GTP hypercar.
It will continue in the US-based IMSA Sportscar Championship and simultaneously enter the Europe-based FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the iconic French event.
The 2023 entry will be the General Motors-owned American luxury brand’s first appearance at Le Mans since 2002.
The fourth-generation Cadillac V-Series prototype will replace the current DPi-VR, which is built to the Daytona Prototype International rules and therefore, despite the name, isn’t permitted at Le Mans.
GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) – formerly known as LMDh – is the more affordable route into the new Hypercar era of top-tier sports car racing, being cost-capped and taking the current second-class LMP2 chassis as its basis.
The other route, LMH, allows manufacturers to design bespoke prototypes, as with the current LMP1 rules; or make competition versions of existing road-going hypercars, creating much greater commerical potential.
This potential and the convergence of European and American sports car regulations have enticed a slew of manufacturers to recommit to or enter the IMSA and WEC series.
On the GTP side, Cadillac joins Acura, Audi, BMW and Porsche; while on the LMH side are ByKolles, Ferrari, Peugeot, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and Toyota.
From the four designated GTP chassis providers, Cadillac has chosen to collaborate with Italian specialist Dallara. To this it will add an engine of its own design, in combination with the mandatory common hybrid element.
The bodystyling of each hypercar is also free to its manufacturer, to which end Cadillac has released a preview image of its effort (see above).
Cadillac’s GTP efforts will be run by US outfits Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing, with which it won the IMSA championship in 2017 and 2018.
Chip Ganassi said: “We’re looking forward to the new international prototype formula and running the Cadillac [GTP]. We’ve had a great relationship across three different racing disciplines with GM, and we’re looking forward to developing the car with Cadillac and Dallara over the next year and a half.”
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