Cadillac V-LMDh aims to make noise at the Roar

Hybrid race car ready for its competition debut at prelude to Rolex 24 at Daytona

DETROIT (Jan. 17, 2023) — Before the aggressive and distinctively Cadillac V-LMDh rounds into view, the unmistakable throaty sound is its calling card. Authentic American V8.

Cadillac, the only LMDh manufacturer with a naturally aspirated engine, will seek to build on its legacy of success in the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona — the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and introduction of the hybrid race cars in the Grand Touring Prototype class.

Three Cadillac V-LMDh race cars will make their debut this week at the Roar Before the Rolex 24. Cadillac will seek its fifth overall victory in the race 2017.

The twice-around-the-clock race is Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway. The prelude Roar commences with the first of five on-track practice sessions at 11 a.m. ET Jan. 20.

The starting grid will be determined by the qualifying format used at other IMSA races – a 20-minute session — on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course. Peacock will provide streaming coverage of qualifying starting at 1:20 p.m. Jan. 22.

“Everyone wishes they had an extra month or two and it’s just the way of the new formula. I guess the best way to do it is to rip the band aid off and get racing.”

— Earl Bamber, co-driver of the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh

“Two years of planning, preparation and perseverance have brought Cadillac Racing to this place and time – the start of a new and exciting era for the brand, IMSA and the WEC,” GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser said. “We’re thankful for the cooperation and consideration of dozens of GM personnel, our teams, partners, suppliers, the sanctioning bodies and the other OEMs to get to this point.

“This has been an intense process, but an extremely rewarding one. Our development process has been like running the Rolex 24 at least five times in a row. It felt like almost every test we were running a 24-hour race with the hours we were at the track and how hard everyone was working. We’re now looking forward to seeing the Cadillac V-LMDh cars on the racetrack in competition and, of course, in the winner’s circle.”

Since its shakedown in early July 2022, the Cadillac V-LMDh has completed more than 12,000 miles of on-track development in addition to numerous hours of development of the 5.5-liter DOHC V8 on dynamometers at the GM Performance and Racing propulsion facility in Pontiac, Michigan.

“Everyone wishes they had an extra month or two and it’s just the way of the new formula. I guess the best way to do it is to rip the band aid off and get racing,” said Earl Bamber, co-driver of the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh.

Since 2017, Cadillac has been competing at the forefront of American sports car racing in the IMSA prototype class. In the 2017-2022 DPi era, Cadillac Racing achieved 27 wins (most of any manufacturer), 84 podium finishes, plus:

  • Winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship three times: 2021, 2018 and 2017
  • Winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona four times in a row: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017
  • Winning the Michelin North American Endurance Cup four times: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017
  • Winning three Team and Driver Championships

Prior to competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Cadillac competed in the World Challenge Championship, earning five Manufacturer Championships (2014, 2013, 2012, 2007, 2005) and five Driver Championships (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2005).

What Cadillac Racing drivers are saying

No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh

Resource: Driver bios

Sebastien Bourdais: “For us, it’s still early days. Everything is new and yet the race is just around the corner. Usually, you spend a lot more time trying to refine the set-ups and everything going into a race, especially being the biggest race of the year. But we’ll have a couple of days during the Roar and then we’ll go racing. We want to see Cadillac win it and we’d love to be the car to win it. I fully expect the one who wins will be the one with the fewest amount of problems, so we’ll keep it clean, go fast and make sure we don’t run into troubles.”

Renger van der Zande: “The test days at Daytona were a time to get reliable you’re your car and get that bit of speed out of the car by working on set-ups. We’ll continue that during the practice days at the Roar. The mental aspect is to focus on your job and trust the others to do well. The only thing you can focus on is that little piece that you’re contributing to the whole team. You’re relying on your teammates, you’re relying on the strategy, you’re relying on the mechanical side of your car. To get everything right is not easy. I’m with an amazing group of drivers and amazing group of people I work with who are to be trusted.”

Scott Dixon: “I’m looking forward to the Roar. Being part of the program a good amount in the off-season, I’ve seen a lot of great development with the car. It’s going to be good to have two cars running at the same time. I’m ready to kick off he season strong. On the Cadillac front I think all the driver lineups are fantastic, the car has been fast, they look like winning cars. All the manufacturers coming in have brought a new intensity to IMSA, which is great for the race itself and the long term.”

No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh

Resource: Driver bios

Alex Lynn: “As a crew, we’re ready to perform. It’s the biggest race on the American calendar, so from that side all three of us have experience and we know what it takes to get it done. We need to stay calm with a brand-new car and make sure we arrive on race day with the best possible chance of winning.”

Earl Bamber: “I think having a regular qualifying session instead of a race this year is good for all the GTP class cars. Everyone wishes they had an extra month or two and it’s just the way of the new formula. I guess the best way to do it is to rip the band aid off and get racing. This first Daytona race is going to be a real endurance race of who car finish the race cleanly without any mechanical failures. The guys at GM, Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing have put a huge amount of work and effort into where we are and I think everyone is excited to get the car on track and see what we’ve produced in the last year and a half.”

Richard Westbook: “It’s been a race against time with the development of the Cadillac V-LMDh. It’s a whole new class, whole new formula and everyone was wishing they had more time. But it is the way the American season works in sports car racing; the first round is a 24-hour race and that’s brutal. We have to be ready and I think round one is going to all be about reliability. We had a very successful 24-hour test and a good test at Daytona in December, so that puts us in good stead.”

No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDh

Resource: Driver bios

Pipo Derani: “I think there’s always a big excitement coming into a new season, especially with the first event so big. After you do this for a few years, you learn how to control your emotions. Everything just falls into place. You just do what you have to do. Once you focus on that and know you have that support from the team, then you’re also more relaxed. There’s really nothing different to do than what you’ve already done and those things have worked because we’ve won races and championships. That also helps you calm down and focus on the important things. Come race day and come Sunday afternoon, you hope everything fell into place and you have the shot at victory in this event.”

Alexander Sims: “A lot of preparation has gone into the car and it’s getting down to crunch time. It’s a huge challenge ahead of us firstly just to complete the race with a brand-new car, brand-new set of technology in the car that everybody is learning about and haven’t been raced in anger up and down the paddock by anyone before and then to try to be fast and competitive at the same time. We’re fully up for it. It seems like we’re in a good spot. I remain cautiously optimistic.”

Jack Aitken: “I’m super excited. I’m comfortable in the car. For everyone, it’s a massive challenge and seeing the way everybody has been fighting to get ready for the race is pretty cool. I think we’re in a good spot. It’s just ironing out those little niggles you get with a new car. I don’t think we’ll get that feeling that we’re 100 percent ready, but I don’t think anybody really is. If we can get there 99 percent ready, I’d say we’ve done a good job.”

About Cadillac

A leading luxury auto brand since 1902, Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio that features distinctive design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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