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Cadillac Rules Out ATS-V.R GT3 Customer Cars for 2015

Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3 customer program possible for 2016…

Photo: RIchard Prince/Cadillac Racing

Photo: RIchard Prince/Cadillac Racing

Cadillac has ruled out selling customer versions of its new ATS-V.R next year, as the manufacturer focuses on development of the all-new FIA GT3-homologated car in its first season of Pirelli World Challenge.

The factory squad will field a pair of the Pratt & Miller-built cars in the highly competitive PWC GT class next year for Andy Pilgrim and three-time and defending series champion Johnny O’Connell.

“I feel it’s our responsibility as the constructor to make sure it’s right,” Cadillac Racing technical program manager David Caldwell told Sportscar365.

“If the marketing side determines that we will expand out into customer teams, I see ’15 as our opportunity to make sure we have a great car for that.

“At this point in time, we have no official plan put together [for customer cars]. We’ve had a couple of questions come at it from different privateer teams, but we don’t have a schedule like that.”

The car, powered by a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, turned its first laps in mid-August before being sent to France for the FIA’s Balance of Performance test.

Caldwell would not disclose the extent of its testing since, other than confirming multiple tests at multiple locations with both drivers.

“We can do all the testing we want, but we need to go race it,” he said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to race in World Challenge next year.

“We’ll get through the year and hopefully everyone will be satisfied with the results and we’ll have confidence that we have a good GT3 car.”

While customer cars could be on the agenda for 2016, so could additional races for Cadillac Racing as a team, thanks to the flexibility of the GT3 platform.

Could Cadillac be interested participating in events such as the Nürburgring 24? Caldwell wouldn’t comment although said one-off international events remain options for the future.

“One of the advantages of having a GT3 car is that it has options outside of World Challenge,” he said. “We haven’t had that with Cadillac before and our primary reason why we race is marketing, to promote the performance credentials of the car and to show it on track.

“That would be dependent on Cadillac’s marketing strategy. It would be something that if they felt it was important to go to a marquee race or compete outside of the U.S., then they’d be looking at SRO or something like that. We don’t have any plans to do that right now.”

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

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