Cadillac plots return to Le Mans

Quintessential American manufacturer pondering way back to Circuit de la Sarthe after 20-year absence

By Becky Wells / Tuesday, August 24, 2021 / Loading comments

We may have only just turned off our TVs and washed our coffee mugs after this weekend’s 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours (congrats, Toyota), but for those who like to get ahead of themselves, the next few years of races already look to be off to a flying start. Now, Cadillac has announced its plans to compete – for “overall victory” no less – at Le Mans… in a couple of years. Maybe.

The all-new Cadillac LMDh-V.R prototype is expected to make its debut at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in January 2023, but the new hypercar rules which allow entrants to compete in both the US-based IMSA Sportscar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship mean that the car would also be eligible for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Which would make for quite a sight at Circuit de la Sarthe after a two decade absence.

“For nearly 20 years, Cadillac V-Series has brought winning technologies from the racetrack to our performance cars on the road,” said Rory Harvey, global vice president, Cadillac. “We look forward to continuing that heritage by competing in this exciting new chapter at the highest level of international motorsport.”

As we’ve seen recently, Audi, BMW and Porsche also intend on jumping on the LMDh bandwagon, while Ferrari, Peugeot and Toyota are poised to compete in the LMH class which allows manufacturers to field bespoke designs based on homologated hypercars. LMDh is the more affordable option as you partner with one of four chassis providers – in Cadillac’s case, Dallara – and then add a unique powertrain and design.

The Cadillac LMDh-V.R (think we’ve found the new PistonHeads wifi password…) will be part of a programme partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing, with a new engine package working in conjunction with the LMDh common hybrid system.

“We are looking forward to the new international prototype formula and running the Cadillac LMDh,” said Chip Ganassi. “We have had a great relationship across three different racing disciplines with GM and we are looking forward to developing the car with Cadillac and Dallara over the next year-and-a-half.”

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