Cadillac unveiled its new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) race car in June as it will participate in the IMSA SportsCar Championship in 2023, notably in the GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class, which will be the new series-leading division.
Now that the car has been in motion for the first time, footage from a recent test at Florida’s Sebring International Raceway has been made available.
Cadillac hasn’t yet made the name of its LMDh automobile or any other complete details public. At the moment, it is known only by the codename Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar. What little information we do have reveals that the vehicle sports a Dallara chassis and a hybrid powertrain with a 5.5-liter V-8 dual-overhead cam engine.
Following the initial July 7-8 shakedown, Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande, Earl Bamber, and Alex Lynn of Cadillac Racing took part in five days of testing at Sebring International Raceway in Florida last week.
In the first phase of the test, Cadillac ran side-by-side with the Porsche 963, which will compete in 2023 as well, as part of IMSA’s Balance of Performance procedure.
“You can feel the energy in the team. Everybody is very motivated to make this successful,” van der Zande said.
The team of engineers put forth a lot of effort to improve upon the results of the initial test, while Bosch and Williams, providers of energy recovery systems, providing on-site assistance, according to Cadillac Racing assistant programme manager Kalvin Parker.
“As we’re growing this complex system, we were able to lean on their expertise as well as our team’s expertise,” Parker said. “Getting the full support of our suppliers was key in getting in good miles.”
The LMDh common hybrid system is coupled with the brand-new Cadillac 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 engine created by GM’s Performance and Racing propulsion division located in Pontiac, Michigan.
Cadillac will compete in the new IMSA GTP class, which is available to both LMDh and current LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) vehicles. Balance of Performance regulations are being considered to maintain a level playing field.
Notably, LMDh cars are also qualified for the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and this will allow Cadillac and several other manufacturers to compete in the championship’s signature race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After 21 years, Cadillac will be returning for the first time to the French classic.
The GTP class will replace the DPi (Daytona Prototype International) class in 2023, and Cadillac’s experience in this class should help the company stand out against some tough competition.
Cadillac has had some success in DPi, winning four straight 24 Hours of Daytona events and two championships.