Cadillac in June provided the first look at its new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) race car that's set to compete next year in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, specifically in the GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class serving as the new top class of the series.
Now we have the first footage of the car in motion, captured during a recent test session at Florida's Sebring International Raceway.
Cadillac is yet to reveal full details on its LMDh car, including the name. Currently it's referred to under the code name Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar. What little details we have is that the car uses a Dallara chassis and runs a hybrid powertrain whose internal-combustion engine is a dual-overhead cam 5.5-liter V-8.
Cadillac describes the V-8 as a newly developed unit, meaning it isn't simply the engine from the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, which is also a DOHC V-8 displacing 5.5 liters. Judging by the sound in the video, the LMDh car's engine isn't running a flat-plane crank like in the Corvette C8.R. Under LMDh regulations, maximum output of the combined hybrid system can be 670 hp.
IMSA's new GTP class in which Cadillac will compete is open to both LMDh cars and current LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) cars, with Balance of Performance rules planned to ensure an even playing field. Notably, LMDh cars are also eligible for the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and this will see Cadillac—and several other manufacturers with LMDh cars—contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the highlight of the World Endurance Championship. It will be the first time back at the French classic for Cadillac after 21 years.
Cadillac currently races in IMSA's DPi (Daytona Prototype International) class, which the GTP class replaces in 2023, and this experience should body well for the brand against some serious competition. Cadillac has been fairly successful in DPi, winning two championships, as well as four 24 Hours of Daytona races in a row.
Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R
Acura, Alpine, Audi (maybe), BMW, and Porsche are also committed to LMDh, while ByKolles, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, Peugeot, and Toyota are all committed to LMH. Lamborghini also announced in May that it will join the LMDh fold in 2024.
For its LMDh car, Cadillac is working 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 famous victory over Ferrari with the GT40 at the French classic.
The first race for LMDh will be the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona next January. The race is the opening round of the 2023 SportsCar Championship.