Cadillac Returns To 24 Hours Of Le Mans In 2023
Cadillac Racing entries the Hypercar class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2023.
Cadillac plans its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in June 2023 with three newly named Cadillac V-Series.Rs to compete in the Hypercar class category.
Most recently, Cadillac raced at Le Mans in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with its 4.0L turbocharged V8-powered Northstar LMP. After 21 years Cadillac has again returned to the Le Mans Entry list for 2023.
The 2023 Line-up Cadillac Racing lineup
Cadillac is entering the 2023 edition of the 24 hours Le Mans with three newly named Cadillac V-Series.Rs to conquer the Hypercar category. The three Cadillac V-Series.R race cars made their competition debut on January 28-29 in the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona, where the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R got a podium finish. The No. 02 Cadillac V-Series.R got fourth place and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R finished fifth. They will join other competitors in the Hypercar class with revised car numbers for the 24 Hours of Le Mans eyeing the win.
The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R driven by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, received a direct entry based on its full-season participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R driven by Sébastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon, is a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entrant, where it races as the No. 01.
The No. 311 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R is a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship participant, where it races as the No. 31. Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken will be the drivers.
Details of the Cadillac V-Series.R participating in 24 hours of Le Mans
The Cadillac V-Series. R design has been co-developed by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis constructor Dallara and was informed by the Project GTP Hypercar that was unveiled in June 2022. The race car also features distinctive Cadillac design elements like vertical lighting and floating blades.
The Cadillac V-Series.R is powered by an all-new 5.5-litre DOHC V-8 engine from Cadillac, the engine was developed by GM’s Performance and Racing Propulsion team based in Pontiac, Michigan. Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering (now WAE) and Xtrac developed the spec energy recovery system.
The Cadillac V-Series.R began its on-track development in July 2022 and clocked more than 12,400 miles [20,000 kilometres] on racetracks across the U.S. leading into the 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Cadillac’s History at 24 Hours of Le Mans
Cadillac’s first Le Mans debut was in 1950 when Briggs Cunningham himself along with Miles and Sam Collier drove a heavily modified Series 61 Coupe de Ville also called Le Monstre (the monster) by the French press. Both of these Series 61 coupes were powered by the Cadillac 5.4-liter OHV V-8 engine. Cadillac finished that race in 11th place.
50 years later, Cadillac returned to Le Mans in 2000 with a prototype named Northstar, and four Northstar LMP cars entered the race. Franck Lagorce, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace drove the Team Cadillac No. 01 Cadillac Northstar LMP to a 21st-place overall finish, while Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Eric van de Poele finished 22nd in the No. 02 sister car.
In 2001 Dams flew the Cadillac banner alone, with two cars sporting new suspension, bonnet and tyres. Only one finished, in 15th place. In 2001, Taylor, Angelelli and Christophe Tinseau co-drove the Cadillac Northstar LMP01 and achieved the 15th-place finish in LMP900. A second LMP01, co-driven by Eric Bernard, Emmanuel Collard and Marc Goossens, retired from the race with because of a mechanical issue.
In 2002, the American manufacturer again entered the race, starting from scratch, a new car was designed in Great Britain while the American engineers focused on the V8 twin-turbo engine, the car was named Northstar LMP02. Two Cadillac Northstar LMP02s entered the race. Angelelli, Tinseau and Taylor co-drove to a ninth-place overall finish, being 30 laps behind the winning Audi R8. A second Cadillac LMP02, co-driven by Bernard, Collard and JJ Lehto, finished 12th.
A word from the Officials
Rory Harvey, Global Vice President of Cadillac said, “We are thrilled to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the full Cadillac Racing team. Over the last 20 years, Cadillac Racing has built a legacy of winning on the track and we feel very privileged to return to Le Mans during this exciting new electrified era in racing.”
Laura Wontrop Klauser, Manager GM sports car program said, “Cadillac is excited to build on its racing legacy by competing against the very best international and at one of the world’s toughest races, we’re proud to be representing the United States and the Cadillac V-Series.R is a great continuation of our racing heritage.”
Bamber, two-time overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans said, “We are all looking forward to Cadillac returning to Le Mans and challenging for the overall victory. It has been decades since an American manufacturer has achieved this and we will be strongly pushing to achieve our goal. It’s been special to be a part of this from the beginning, we started this journey nearly two years ago testing in the simulator. It’s been an awesome journey and the adventure is only just beginning. It’s going to be incredible all the way up to Le Mans.”