Cadillac in June provided the first look at its new LMDh race car that’s set to compete next year at the top level in both the IMSA SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship, in the GTP and Hypercar classes, respectively.
Dubbed the V-LMDh, the new race car is currently testing at racetracks all across the country, and this week Cadillac released a video showing some of the testing that took place recently at Georgia’s Road Atlanta.
Cadillac is yet to reveal full details on the V-LMDh but we know the car uses a Dallara chassis and runs a hybrid powertrain with a dual-overhead cam 5.5-liter V-8 for the internal combustion component. There’s also a single motor-generator, likely positioned at the front axle. Under LMDh rules, the powertrain’s output must be capped at 670 hp.
Cadillac describes the V-8 as a newly developed unit, meaning it isn’t simply the engine from the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R race car, which is also a DOHC V-8 displacing 5.5 liters. Judging by the sound in the video, the V-LMDh’s engine isn’t running a flat-plane crank like in the Corvette C8.R (and Corvette Z06).
For its LMDh campaign, Cadillac is working with two of its existing partner teams in the current DPi class of the SportsCar Championship, which the GTP class replaces next year. The teams are Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing. Chip Ganassi Racing was responsible for the Ford GT’s storybook GTE Pro-class win at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, which was the 50th anniversary of Ford’s famous victory over Ferrari with the GT40 at the French classic.
Driving the V-LMDh for Chip Ganassi Racing in the SportsCar Championship will be Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande, and driving for Action Express Racing will be Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims. Additional drivers for both teams will be announced at a later date.
Driving the V-LMDh in the World Endurance Championship will be Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, and Richard Westbrook. The car will be fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing, and compete in the full season, which means a run in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will be the first time back at the French classic for Cadillac after 21 years.
The GTP and Hypercar classes in which Cadillac will compete are open to both the new LMDh cars and current LMH cars, with Balance of Performance rules planned to ensure an even playing field.
Acura, BMW, and Porsche will also field LMDh race cars, and Alpine and Lamborghini will join the fray in 2024. ByKolles, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, Peugeot, and Toyota are all committed to the LMH category.
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.
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