Cadillac’s long-expected foray into the new Le Mans-Daytona hybrid (LMDh) racing category is now confirmed. The brand will partner with Italian chassis constructor Dallara to make a new prototype racer, the LMDh-V.R, to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech Series and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans beginning in 2023.
GM’s luxury brand has seen significant success in the IMSA WeatherTech’s DPi category, with four Daytona 24 wins in a row and overall championships in 2017 and 2018. Cadillac is currently leading the Manufacturer’s Championship as well.
This new LMDh program will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing—which rejoined the IMSA WeatherTech series with Cadillac this year—and Action Express Racing. The LMDh-V.R will debut with the new LMDh class at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and until then, Cadillac’s current DPi-V.R will continue competing.
The LMDh class is a joint creation by IMSA and the ACO, the sanctioning body behind the 24 Hours of Le Mans. LMDh cars will feature a chassis built by one of four constructors—Dallara, Multimatic, ORECA, and Ligier—an engine and bodywork supplied by an OEM, and standardized hybrid components. The class was designed as a relatively low-cost entry into top-level endurance racing, and it’s attracting a lot of automaker interest.
So far, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Acura, and BMW have all confirmed 2023 debuts for their LMDh efforts, with Lamborghini aiming to join in 2024.
At Le Mans, LMDh cars will be balanced against the FIA’s new Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) class, which currently has entrants from Toyota, Glickenhaus and a grandfathered LMP1 car from Alpine. Next year, Peugeot will race its 9X8 Hypercar and Ferrari will join the class in 2023. Alpine will also aim for a 2023 entry in either LMH or LMDh.
So, Le Mans 2023 will see Cadillac, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Acura, Toyota, Peugeot, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, and possibly Alpine all competing for overall glory. Not a bad way to celebrate the centenary of the world’s greatest race.
Cadillac released a rendering of a rear three-quarter view of the LMDh-V.R car today, and interestingly, it doesn’t have a traditional rear wing. Peugeot is taking a similar aerodynamic approach with its LMH car, and it’s fascinating to see that two manufacturers came to the same conclusion.
Given the successes of Cadillac plus Action Express and Chip Ganassi, we expect the LMDh-V.R to be strong from the off. We can’t wait to see it.
From: Road & Track
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