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Cadillac Ends PWC Program

Cadillac Racing ends Pirelli World Challenge involvement…

Photo: Richard Prince/Cadillac

After a decade-plus long run that’s amassed numerous championships, Cadillac Racing has pulled the plug on its Pirelli World Challenge program with immediate effect.

The announcement came Thursday by the American manufacturer, which has reaffirmed its commitment to the Prototype class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2018, where it will continue to support its Cadillac DPi-V.R entries.

Cadillac’s withdrawal from PWC comes after an 11-year run in the series that began in 2004, when it debuted the CTS-V Sedan.

In all, the Pratt & Miller-led squad has claimed seven drivers’ championships, five manufacturers’ titles, 33 wins, 121 podium finishes and 25 pole positions in a total of 332 races entered.

The program has featured nearly a dozen drivers, including Johnny O’Connell, Michael Cooper, Ricky and Jordan Taylor, Andy Pilgrim, Max Angelelli, Ron Fellows, John Heinricy, Olivier Beretta and Lawson Aschenbach, with Cooper and Jordan Taylor claiming this year’s SprintX title.

Cooper also swept the season-ending Sprint weekend at Sonoma Raceway in his No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R, finishing second in the overall GT points.

“Throughout 11 years of competition with Cadillac Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge Series, we have taken tremendous pride in our successes,” said Mark Kent, Director of Motorsports Competition for Cadillac Racing.

“We also have taken tremendous pride in the level of technology transfer that has occurred between the Cadillacs competing on track and their showroom counterparts. 

“This technology transfer has helped make the Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V production models very track-capable and athletic.”

A reason for the program’s end was not given, although the manufacturer has left the door open for a possible future return.

Cadillac sat out of the 2008-10 PWC seasons due to the economic recession.

“In 2018, we will take a pause in Pirelli World Challenge as we focus completely on our effort in prototype sports car racing,” said Rich Brekus, Global Director of Product Strategy for Cadillac.

“However, we maintain a regular and open communication with Greg Gill, the World Challenge CEO, and hope to one day return to the series in some form.”

Any possible future return would unlikely come with the current-generation ATS-V.Rs, which were built to FIA GT3 specification but never raced in the hands of customer teams, or outside of PWC. 

A Cadillac spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that there are no plans to have the current cars be made available to customers. 

According to a report by Autoweek, both the ATS and CTS production models appear to be on the chopping block for 2019, although not confirmed by the automaker. 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Prototype 1

    September 28, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Will Chevy C7 GT3 replace the Caddy? Or will they Not?

    • nah

      September 28, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Nah

    • Alex

      September 28, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      This certainly opens the door. Obviously funding in America for this program would be the next step. Either way its VERY EXCITING that Caddy is out of PWC (not personally for the team, but the roadblock from GM), so we can see the awesome C7 GT3 in the States, doing what it does best in Europe….

      • Andy Flinn

        September 30, 2017 at 9:48 pm

        Alex, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  2. Jake

    September 28, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Maybe they’ll let Callaway bring the Corvette to PWC now.

    • Prototype 1

      September 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      I Hope So.

      Will Callaway bring the C7 to the IMSA championship as well?

    • nah

      September 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      P&M probably wouldn’t like that.

      • Max

        September 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm

        Unless they feel like paying for a GT3 program out of pocket I don’t see why that would matter much.

      • Eric

        September 28, 2017 at 7:01 pm

        I get the feeling it’s more guys in the boardroom that think we are all stupid and wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the factory team and the privateer team running them.

        If anything, I’d think the Corvette Racing/P&M guys would enjoy seeing another Corvette out there.

  3. nah

    September 28, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    No Callaway barely had the funds to even build three cars, we won’t be seeing Callaways anytime soon.

    • jack

      September 28, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      they are entered at the 24 hour race at cota i believe.

  4. Kmart

    September 28, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    This is not GOOD. like I have to say that!!!

    • Alex

      September 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      This is VERY VERY GOOD for Corvette GT3 fans!!!!!!!!!

  5. Mark - Toronto

    September 28, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I always found it disappointing that the cars were never run outside of this series. I don’t know if the interest was there on either side for a customer program, but it now seems a shame.

    • Dan

      September 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Mike Hedlund tried to buy one but GM said no. There was customer interest but GM didn’t want customers they would have to support. Johnny Oconnel wanted to take the car to the N24 but we see how that worked out.

    • Mark - Toronto

      September 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Also, it says “with immediate effect”. To be completely honest…that seems kind of lame. Are they not mathematically still in the championship hunt? They couldn’t do one more PWC round to see out the season? I don’t expect them to do the 8 hour event…..but still. That seems an unfortunate way to end it.

      • Kyle

        September 28, 2017 at 1:34 pm

        The season ended at Sonoma.

        • Mark - Toronto

          September 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm

          Sorry – you’re right. I was looking schedule with the October Laguna rounds for TC, etc…forgetting the GT season was over. (I’m getting old)

    • Bob

      September 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Same. Would have been great to see an American GT3 car competing in Blancpain or any other GT3 series out there in Europe & Asia. The news of GT3 homologation fueled our anticipation. But it never happened. Same reason or deciding ppl @ GM as to why the Corvette is only racing in USA. (minus the AM car in WEC). Probably boils down to the money it takes to support efforts around the world. They just can’t afford global racing.

      • Alex

        September 28, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        If only there was a Corvette GT3 that was winning Drivers and Teams championships in Germany like this past weekend……..oh….wait…

        -___-

        • Andy Flinn

          September 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm

          Alex, the Callaway Corvette is essentially banned by GM from racing in PWC. In IMSA GTD Callaway would be required to put up one million dollars to race. The GM ban may block Callaway from racing in IMSA, too.

          • jareth Belanger

            October 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm

            Callaway wouldn’t as its the constructor, not a manufacturer. As long as its branded a “Chevorlet” it would be in theory covered by GM’s only pay in. However I would need to look at the fine print t
            o confirm it, which I do not have.

      • Andy Flinn

        September 30, 2017 at 9:56 pm

        Bob, I’d settle for any GM – customer or corporate – racing here in North America.

        If GM isn’t interested in GTD I’m not at all surprised that they have no interest in GT racing (other than Le Mans) overseas.

  6. Kyle

    September 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Cadillac was a huge proponent of this series. Lots of activation included. Not a good day at all for PWC.

    • Bob

      September 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      This is true. But PWC has grown so much more than just having a factory Cadillac & a serious Volvo team with a few privateers playing along. Since changing to a GT3 type series, PWC has a good amount of brand involvement now. It’s in a good place. I see Cadillac commercials promoting their V car. But GM doesnt mention or promote PWC thru TV ads today. Event booths at races cover such a small sample of ppl. Their V sales is probably very small today. PWC will be fine.

    • Kirk

      September 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Yep. They were to the PWC what Penske is to Indy Car or Hendrick is to NASCAR. It’ll be tough for the PWC to replace their top team.

  7. David Chaste

    September 28, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    They want to ramp up to really stick it to penske and joest in imsa.

    they should pay for wayne taylor to field a second car. because penske will go all out if honda wants it as much as porsche did with the spyders by fielding 3 cars in select races.

    The action express 5 car is being paid by the Daytona brass, and the 31 car is being paid by Whelen. So Cadillac is really only fielding 1 car for themselves. Give WTR a second fully funded chassis.

    • NASCAR/DPs Suck

      September 28, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      That would be great, Caddy is no longer going to be the big fish next year so they’ve got to step up with their best team and compete with Penske and Joest.

  8. Tyler Sanders

    September 28, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I would love to see the Callaway corvette in the PWC, Blancpain Series or the GTD class.

  9. the boot

    September 28, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Does GM give Cooper an opportunity to be the third driver in the Vette program? With Ricky Taylor moving on and Mags getting up there he seems like a logical protege.

    • Mike

      September 28, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      An all American team driving Jake would be great

  10. Change it up

    September 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Clearly winning the PWC championship means you don’t make a self supporting profit as a manufacturer.

    • Change it up

      September 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      I guess I should have read the last sentence. They clearly are making way for the new sedan in 2019 and will probably axe the CTS, ATS, and XTS all together.

      • Caddy leaving might make the whiners stop

        September 28, 2017 at 2:16 pm

        I wonder if the Vette based XLR could be making a return with a Caddy 3L V6 engine? The big knock on the XLR-V was its limits but with a ZR1 or the new (and constantly one gen away) mid-engine ‘super’ Vette there could be a place for it

  11. Jeremy Bacchus

    September 28, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Was never a huge GM fan, or a fan of Cadillac road cars. But in the past seven years of attending PWC events, this was one team that I was always excited to meet with, ask questions and get up close to the CTS or the ATS. These guys always embraced the fans, Johnny O was frequently seen chatting with fans, other competitors and joking around with his co drivers. There is a spot in every paddock that will now be sorely missed. Their contribution to sportscar racing and the growth of the Pirelli World Challenge was something very few manufactures can brag about. Hope to see them again in the near future with an interesting new car to contest. Side note: Keep one car, sell the other two off to a prospecting customer program!

  12. tracer

    September 28, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I’m glad I got to see em at ViR one last time.

    PWC is in trouble. Can we all agree on that? Cadillac is gone. Acura and Bentley programs are on the ropes. K-Pax is contracting. Other entrants such as CRP are on record as looking elsewhere for 2018. I feel like the series has lost its way over the last 2 years, and the SRO involvement has not helped in that time period. My gut tells me that the TV package, officiating maladies, and mixed reviews on SprintX are to blame.

    Where does PWC go from here? Is there room for both SRO GT3 style racing as well as IMSA GTD to co-exist in North America?

    • DEJ

      September 28, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      I hate the Sprint X.not watching PWC or even the thought about attending a race if it continues !

  13. el_gordo

    September 28, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I’m hoping they read my comment on your “Audi Confirms Magnus” story this morning and this is just the first step, hopefully be able to read “GM partners with Callaway for GT3” and “Pratt and Miller building LMP1 Cadillac” stories tomorrow
    i might as well make a list cause this is as far off as most of that guys posts
    2018 IMSA Classes
    F1 Cars
    LMP6
    Monster Trucks

    • tracer

      September 28, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      You forgot to add that the classes will run on Yokohama, Nitto and Bridgestone rubber, respectively! 😂

  14. Alex

    September 28, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I am thinking this will be VERY good for the fans to finally see multiple Corvettes potentially racing in AMERICA. Caddy Racing was good when it was around, but its time for Customer GM products to race in the PWC series. Just a shame this still means no C7 GT3 at races like Daytona or Sebring…..

    • Andy Flinn

      September 30, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Alex, what “customer GM products”?

      I wouldn’t count on “multiple Corvettes” in PWC. Since it’s inception in 2014, exactly ZERO Corvettes or Caddies have raced in IMSA GTD.

      GM has no interest in building or selling GT3 customer cars.

      I wish that wasn’t true.

  15. bugeye

    September 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Cadillac is not out of PWC, they are taking a break just like they did when GM pulled all racing when they went bankrupt. In 2019 they will be back. GT3 is the biggest class out there and it’s too relevant on a global scale for GM to not have Cadillac involved.

    • Alex

      September 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Interesting, I don’t remember reading them disbanding the team during their last hiatus…..for the sake of all the Corvette fans, let’s hope you’re wrong. Dpi is too big at this point for Caddy to ignore….

  16. CD

    September 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    When GM first pulled the plug, McCann Racing purchased everything and took over in 2008 as a privateer with Pilgrim & McCann driving. They were known as Team Remington Cadillac. Most of their assets were up for sale and the #8 was at a Mecum auction

  17. Gadz

    September 28, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Well with Ricky Taylor possibly going to the acura dpi program. Could we see Michael Cooper at WTR with Jordan in the cadillac dpi?

  18. John

    September 29, 2017 at 3:01 am

    How much does a top-level PWC campaign cost?

    Just curious, as I see this is a sign that GM’s racing budget has its limits even in the home market, never mind the fantasies of Cadillacs running internationally.

    • Andy Flinn

      September 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      John, does the factory have to run the program?

      If history is any guide, I know there are teams that would love to race P&M Cadillacs or Corvettes.

  19. Georg

    September 29, 2017 at 4:58 am

    It’s one thing to build and operate a car that is competitive as a factory effort against customer teams than building a car that is competitive in hands of customers. Difference in level between Caddy and most excisting GT3 brands here.

    • Andy Flinn

      September 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Porsche built their reputation providing competitive cars to customers.

  20. Rus'L

    September 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I wonder who is going to supply all the pace and safety cars now? Cadillac has been doing it for years.

  21. NaBUru38

    September 30, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Accodring to some website that alliterates with dynamic stability control, General Motors has allowed Callaway to sell its Corvette C7 GT3 for the Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA GTD.

    • Andy Flinn

      September 30, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      NaBUru38, that would be GREAT news!

      I read about Callaway’s GM ban on that same website.

      But again, I’ll believe it when I see it. I hope it happens.

      Would Callaway pay the million dollar fee to race in IMSA GTD?

      • Andy Flinn

        September 30, 2017 at 10:44 pm

        I just read the article.

        Unless there’s an update, there’s nothing in that article that indicates GM has granted their approval.

        Again, I hope I’m wrong.

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