It’s almost time for the racing season to commence one again, and while many point to the NASCAR Daytona 500 in February as the unofficial start to the season, we like to think it’s the IMSA 24 Hours of Daytona happening at the end of January. And it’s bigger deal than most years, too, largely in part due to fresh new entries and the introduction of top-tier machines like the Cadillac V-LMDh race car.
Co-developed by GM and Dallara, the final Cadillac V-LMDh design blends a signature style such as vertical lighting and floating blades. Along with looking the business, the Cadillac V-LMDh is by a new LMC55R 5.5L DOHC V-8 that’s paired with the LMDh common hybrid system. Developed in-house, the naturally aspirated racing engine is rated up to 670 horsepower, per series specifications, and is backed by a seven-speed sequential gearbox.
Like the Corvette Z06 GT3.R, these Cadillac V-LMDh cars will race globally. In the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook will co-drive the No. 2 Cadillac V-LMDh in FIA WEC competition in the Hypercar class, including the 100th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The “No. 2” numeration is in homage to the first Cadillac entry at Le Mans in 1950, Briggs Cunningham’s “Le Monstre”. You may have noticed that name when the Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar originally debuted last year as a little easter egg.
Perhaps the most stacked drivers lineup in any Cadillac race car, former IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais and former Cadillac DPi racer Renger van der Zande will drive the No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. And for the 24 Hours of Daytona, the duo will be joined by six-time IndyCar champion and four-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Scott Dixon. This will be the team to watch.
Rounding it off, drivers Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims will pilot the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDh in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Throughout the season they will be joined by Jack Aitken for longer races like Daytona and Sebring.
Following Daytona, Cadillac Racing will compete at the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 17 with the No. 2 car, with the No. 01 and 31 competing in the IMSA Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 18. In the future, Cadillac hopes to take its motorsports ambitions to the highest level: an entry into Formula 1 with Andretti Autosport.