Car enthusiasts will be happy to know that after 14 years of not being seen in the tracks, Cadillac is slated to make a comeback to endurance racing. Cadillac has confirmed that starting 2017, its Daytona Prototype, the DPi-V.R, will be part of the DPi class under the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship organized by International Motor Sports Association, or IMSA. Officially, the brand will be fielding its racers again on January 28, 2017, during the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Powering it is the 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine developed by Earnhardt Childress Racing which can deliver an output of 600 hp (447 kW). This is the very same engine that was fitted in the Dayton Prototypes of Chevrolet. It has the same displacement as those seen in the Escalade SUV and even the supercharged CTS-V sedan.
In addition, it has been fitted with the Dallara LMP2 chassis, the same component in models that race in the FIA World Endurance Championship and even the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There is one difference in that due to changes implemented to the IMSA rules, Cadillac, as well as the other brands, is now allowed to put in small improvements parts like the wheel arches in the rear, side pods, and the nose. The objective was that it would help differentiate the various racers from each other. With this, automakers can also give fans an idea of what the production versions may have.
According to the brand, it has been testing Prototypes since September in various courses like the North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway, New York’s Watkins Glen, and Kentucky’s NCM Motorsport Park. The brand has even conducted testing on Putnam Park out in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cadillac’s racers will be driven by Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express racing. Racing fans are familiar with the latter as it is the same team that managed to get the top three positions during the 2016 season.
Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen shared that its V-Performance production models, specifically the CTS-V and the ATS-V, have not only managed to change the substance of the products but also secured a place in many of the high-performance brands of the world. He added that with the DPi-V.R, the brand has managed to reinforce its range ensuring that the Cadillac has a sport in the highest sports car racing series in the U.S.
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is based mainly in the U.S. and Canada and was due to the Rolex Sports Car Series combining with the American Le Mans Series. This series has 4 different classes with two for grand tourer models while the other two are sports prototypes. Specifically these are the Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans, and the GT Daytona. The inaugural season was in 2014 which began with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January and finished with the Petit Le Mans by October.