Cadillac returns to the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Cadillac will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June with three of the newly named Cadillac V-Series.R race cars to compete in the Hypercar class for the overall win.
“We are thrilled to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the full Cadillac Racing team,” said Global Vice President of Cadillac Rory Harvey. “Over the last 20 years Cadillac Racing has built a legacy of winning on the track and we feel very privileged to return to Le Mans during this exciting new electrified era in racing.”
The Cadillac Racing lineup
• The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R received an automatic entry based on its 2023 full-season participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook are the drivers.
• The No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R is a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entrant in the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class, where it races as the No. 01. Sébastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon will be the drivers.
• The No. 311 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R is a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entrant in the GTP class, where it races as the No. 31. Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken will be the drivers.
“Cadillac is excited to build on its racing legacy by competing against the very best internationally and at one of the world’s toughest races,” said GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser. “We’re proud to be representing the United States and the Cadillac V-Series.R is a great continuation of our racing heritage.”
The three hybrid Cadillac V-Series.R cars made their competition debut Jan. 28-29 in the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona, with the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R earning a podium finish. The No. 02 Cadillac V-Series.R placed fourth and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R finished fifth.
The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R will make its WEC debut in the Hypercar class March 17 in the 1000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.
“We are all looking forward to Cadillac returning to Le Mans and challenging for the overall victory. It has been decades since an American manufacturer has achieved this and we will be strongly pushing to achieve our goal,” said Bamber, overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and 2017.
All-new race car for global competition
The guiding principles for convergence of the top categories of endurance racing in IMSA and the WEC were announced in 2020. Design and development of the new Cadillac race car began immediately.
The Cadillac V-Series.R design — codeveloped by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis constructor Dallara — was informed by the Project GTP Hypercar that was unveiled in June 2022. The race car incorporates distinctive Cadillac design elements, such as vertical lighting and floating blades.
The Cadillac V-Series.R features an all-new Cadillac 5.5L DOHC V-8 engine developed by GM’s Performance and Racing Propulsion team based in Pontiac, Michigan. The spec energy recovery system was developed by Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering (now WAE) and Xtrac.
The Cadillac V-Series.R began on-track development in July 2022 and logged more than 12,500 miles (20,000 kilometers) on racetracks in the U.S. leading into the 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“It’s been special to be a part of this from the beginning,” Bamber added. “We started this journey nearly two years ago testing in the simulator. It’s been an awesome journey and the adventure is only just beginning. It’s going to be incredible all the way up to Le Mans.”
Cadillac history at Le Mans
The first Cadillacs raced at Le Mans were entered by privateers Briggs Cunningham and Miles and Sam Collier in 1950. Both Series 61 coupes cars were powered by the Cadillac 5.4-liter OHV V-8 engine.
Miles and Sam Collier co-drove the No. 3 “Petit Pataud” to a 10th-place overall finish. Briggs Cunningham shared the wheel of the No. 2 “Le Monstre” with Phil Walters and finished 11th overall despite an early off-course incident.
That same year, Sydney Allard and Tom Cole Jr. finished third overall in the Cadillac-powered Allard J2.
Most recently, Cadillac competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with its 4.0-liter turbocharged V8-powered Northstar LMP.
In 2000, Franck Lagorce, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace drove the Team Cadillac No. 1 Cadillac Northstar LMP to a 21st-place overall finish, while Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Eric van de Poele finished 22nd in the No. 2 sister car.
In 2001, Taylor, Angelelli and Christophe Tinseau co-drove the Cadillac Northstar LMP01 to a 15th-place finish. A second LMP01, co-driven by Eric Bernard, Emmanuel Collard and Marc Goossens, retired from the race with a mechanical issue.
In 2002, two Cadillac LMP02 cars were entered. Angelelli, Tinseau and Taylor co-drove to a ninth-place overall finish. A second Cadillac LMP02, co-driven by Bernard, Collard and JJ Lehto, finished 12th.
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