Cadillac will join the new LMDh class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023, and will compete for overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the automaker announced on Tuesday.
Cadillac currently races in the premier IMSA Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which is set to be replaced by LMDh in 2023. Cadillac noted that its LMDh prototype racer, dubbed LMDh-V.R, will also conform to the rules of Le Mans sanctioning body Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), allowing it to compete in the legendary French endurance race.
For the LMDh program, Cadillac will work with two of its existing DPi partner teams: Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing. Chip Ganassi Racing was responsible for the Ford GT's storybook GTE Pro-class win at Le Mans in 2016, on the 50th anniversary of Ford's victory over Ferrari with the GT40.
GM Design will partner with race-car constructor Dallara on the chassis, while a new hybrid powertrain will be developed in accordance with LMDh rules, according to Cadillac.
Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R
Cadillac has been fairly successful in DPi, winning two championships and four Rolex 24 at Daytona victories in a row. However, its last Le Mans program, run from 2000-2002, was unsuccessful. The automaker has gained more racing experience over the past two decades, but it will also face more competition in 2023.
Acura, Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, and Porsche have also confirmed LMDh entries, meaning they'll compete against Cadillac in the regular IMSA season. As with Cadillac, the door is open for each of these manufacturers to race at Le Mans as well, but most have been vague on plans for that.
At Le Mans, Cadillac will also face entries from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) class. LMH and LMDh rules were structured to allow both classes to race together at Le Mans.
The LMH class currently includes entrants from Toyota (which won the 2021 Le Mans race), Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG), and Alpine. Germany's ByKolles failed to get its entry ready in time for the start of the 2021 WEC season. Peugeot is expected to join in 2022, followed by Ferrari in 2023.