Cadillac returns to prototype sports car racing
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Cadillac’s much-anticipated return to prototype sports car competition has been confirmed with the launch of the all-new 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R race car.
Built to the new Daytona Prototype International (DPi) regulations of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, the new Cadillac is set to replace the Corvette Daytona Prototype as the General Motors entry in the top class of IMSA competition.
The Cadillac’s race debut will be at the 2017 IMSA season opener — the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29 — with cars campaigned by the front-running Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express Racing teams.
Mazda has already revealed a new DPi contender while Nissan is also expected to join the fray and other teams will compete with the latest generation FIA LMP2 cars.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series is the fastest and most technologically advanced sports car series in North America and the DPi category will feature some technical diversity with the V8-powered Cadillac in competition with Mazda’s turbo four-cylinder RT24-P and the Nissan powered entry from ExtremeSpeed Motorsports is expected to use the 3.8-litre V6 twin turbo engine from the NISMO GT-R GT3 car.
"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.
"Cadillac’s V-Performance production models — the ATS-V and CTS-V — are transforming our brand’s product substance, earning a place among the world’s elite high performance marques."
"The Cadillac DPi-V.R further strengthens our V-Performance portfolio, placing Cadillac into the highest series of sports car racing in North America."
The all-new Cadillac DPi-V.R is based on the latest Dallara LMP2 prototype chassis with bodywork that incorporates design elements from the current lineup of Cadillac V-Performance models — in particular the CTS-V sports sedan.
"The studio embraced the opportunity to interpret the Cadillac form language, line work and graphic signature for this premier prototype racing application," said Andrew Smith, global Cadillac design executive director.
Among the styling cues giving the DPi-V.R car its distinctive Cadillac appearance include the vertical lighting signature; the sheer, sculptural quality of the body and bold bodyside feature line; V-Performance wheels with Brembo brakes; V-Performance emblems; and a canopy graphic inspired by the Cadillac daylight opening.
Even subtle cues such as the cooling vents and the air intake were designed in the studio, the latter in the trapezoidal shape of the Cadillac crest.
The Cadillac DPi-V.R is powered by a normally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine producing about 600-horsepower with IMSA-mandated air restrictors and a 7600rpm rev limit.
The Daytona debut of the Cadillac DPi-V.R will attract considerable attention with four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon set to make his first sports car appearance since 2007. Gordon will team with Max Angelelli and brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor in the Konica Minolta-backed Wayne Taylor Racing entry.
Gordon retired from full-time NASCAR competition at the end of 2015 but returned for eight races this year as a replacement when Dale Earnhardt Jr was sidelines with concussion symptoms.