Cadillac’s new LMDh car has completed its first rollout ahead of the car’s debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.
The Dallara-built prototype turned laps with Chip Ganassi Racing driver Earl Bamber at the wheel. While unconfirmed by the manufacturer, it is believed to have occurred Thursday at Putnam Park, near Indianapolis, the same road course where the Cadillac DPi-V.R completed its shakedown in 2016.
It marks the second LMDh car to hit the ground, following the Porsche 963 that has already completed extensive testing throughout Europe.
“It’s exciting to see the hard work and ingenuity of the whole team pay off,” said Kalvin Parker, Cadillac Racing assistant program manager. “The 2023 season promises to be one of the most competitive ever, so we’re looking forward to developing the race car with further testing on-track, driver feedback and in the wind tunnel.”
Both the Porsche and Cadillac are scheduled to test at Sebring International Raceway for the first time next week, with additional group tests planned in the build-up to IMSA-sanctioned tests at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 3-5 and Daytona International Speedway on Dec. 6-7.
“The first laps are the start of an aggressive testing schedule ahead of next year,” GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser said. “Our team is dedicated to continuing Cadillac Racing’s rich heritage of winning on the track.”
The yet-to-be-named car, featuring a 5.5-liter DOHC V8 engine, looks distinctly different from the initial Project GTP Hypercar concept that was released in June.
The single-car photo released by Cadillac on Friday depicts a more traditional nose, rear wing, as well as the use of wing mirrors that were not on the concept car. The air box is also larger than on the concept.
Further details on the rollout have not been released, although Bamber said he was left impressed with the car during the shakedown.
“This was a monumental event thanks to a complete group effort between Cadillac, Chip Ganassi Racing and Dallara,” said the Kiwi.
“It was an exhilarating feeling to jump in the car for the first time and get a sense of what the future will look like. So much work has gone into the 2023 race car, and I can’t wait to see it take flight next season.”
The two remaining LMDh models destined for the WeatherTech Championship in 2023 are slated to also run for the first time this month.
Acura’s ARX-06 is understood to be shaken down within the next ten days, followed by the BMW M Hybrid V8 at the end of this month.