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Cadillac reveals 2023 LMDh racer for WEC and IMSA programmes

Cadillac has revealed the first photographs and technical details of its 2023 LMDh prototype under the working name Project GTP Hypercar.

Cadillac LMDh prototype
Cadillac LMDh prototype
Cadillac LMDh prototype
Cadillac LMDh prototype
Cadillac LMDh prototype
Cadillac LMDh prototype
Cadillac LMDh prototype
Cadillac LMDh prototype
8

The new Caddy that will race in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from next year retains a family resemblance to the current DPi-V.R, which has been competing in IMSA since 2017.

The General Motors brand has taken advantage of the freedoms in the LMDh rule book to incorporate what it called “key brand characteristics” that “connect the car to the future of Cadillac” into what it is describing as the third-generation Caddy prototype after the Northstar LMP900s of 2000-02 and the DPi-V.R.

Chris Mikalauskas, lead exterior creative designer at Cadillac, said: “The Project GTP Hypercar is a unique convergence of form and function and showcases Cadillac’s future performance aesthetic.

“We have plenty more to come, from the upcoming race car to amazing production vehicles.”

Rory Harvey, vice-president of Global Cadillac, added that racing in WEC and IMSA would allow the marque an “opportunity to demonstrate its capability, craftsmanship and technology”.

The images have been heavily reworked and it is understood that the car shown is far from the finished article.

The Project GTP Hypercar, which will take Cadillac back to the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since 2002, has been developed around the spine of Dallara’s forthcoming next-generation LMP2 in conjunction with Cadillac Racing and Cadillac Design.

Cadillac announced during the virtual launch of the car on Thursday that it will be powered by an all-new 5.5-litre V8, which will be mated to the spec hybrid system mandated in LMDh.

It has not been revealed so far whether the engine is normally-aspirated like the current 5.5-litre unit in the DPi-V.R rather than turbocharged.

The LMDh rules mandate a minimum weight of 180kg for the internal-combustion element of the powertrain, which points to a normally-aspirated configuration for such a large-capacity engine.

The initial name of the car refers to the top classes of the WEC and the IMSA, which are respectively known as GTP and Hypercar.

It is understood that it could change before the car starts racing at the start of next year.

Cadillac LMDh prototype

Cadillac LMDh prototype

Photo by: Cadillac Communications

The Caddy LMDh will begin testing imminently - “this summer” was the term used on its launch - ahead of a series of official tests run by IMSA at the end of the year.

Homologation of the car will take place ahead of its scheduled debut at next January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening round of the 2023 IMSA season.

Thursday’s announcement made no reference to how the programmes in WEC and IMSA will be run.

Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing were confirmed as the partner teams for the LMDh project last August, but there was no clarification on how their resources would be split across the two series.

It is widely expected that Ganassi will run the WEC programme, while likely maintaining a presence in IMSA.

Action Express, meanwhile, has outlined a desire to race at Le Mans for the first time.

Laura Klauser, GM sportscar racing programme manager, said: “Competing for the overall win at Le Mans with an iconic American brand like Cadillac is an honour.

“The entire team is excited to continue building Cadillac’s racing legacy by competing against the very best internationally and in the world's toughest race.”

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