Stating that the LMP program had met Cadillac’s objectives, GM pulled the plug prior to the 2003 season. Cadillac’s racing efforts then shifted to campaigning the CTS-V in the SCCA World Challenge Series, where the car competed as a sedan from 2004 through 2007.
GM’s bankruptcy put an end to Cadillac’s racing efforts, but the luxury brand returned to SCCA World Challenge competition in 2011, this time with the CTS-V coupe. With a season-and-a-half of banging fenders behind them, USA Today says that Cadillac is now looking at branching out into other international racing series.
In the words of James Vurpillat, global marketing manager for Cadillac, “We’d like to be able to race in China, we’d like to be able to race in Eastern Europe, and there are a number of series that allow you to do that.”
In other words, this time it’s solely about getting the product in front of customers with money, and not at all about using racing to improve the breed. We’re well versed on global racing series, yet we’d be hard-pressed to name a Chinese or Russian equivalent to Japan’s Super GT Series or Australia’s V8 Supercar series.
If Cadillac does expand its racing program internationally, look for the brand to focus on production-based series, not prototype series. Per Vurpillat, racing production cars allows potential customers to see that on-track performance relates to on-road performance.
With several series (like German Touring Car, Super GT and Grand Am) proposing a common set of rules for the 2015 season, racing is about to get more global, anyway. We’re not sure that will be “Chinese” or “Eastern European” enough to satisfy Vurpillat, but we’d point out that the rest of the word buys luxury cars, too.