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Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar “Pretty Close” to Final Car

GM sports car program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser on recently revealed Cadillac LMDh car…

Image: Cadillac

The recently unveiled Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar is “pretty close” to the manufacturer’s intended LMDh entry according to GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser.

Revealed on Thursday, the luxury automaker provided a preview to the car that will take Cadillac back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, as part of a dual full season FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program.

The striking design has been co-developed by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis constructor Dallara, featuring increased production-based styling cues when compared to the Cadillac DPi-V.R.

“For the most part, what we showed you is where we want to head with this car,” Klauser told Sportscar365. “It’s pretty close from that standpoint.

“There will be some tweaks; there will be some changes that will come as we find areas of the car that we need to improve and as we find a better way to do something that would be more efficient.

“[There’s been] constant iterations, constant improvements, little stuff at this point.”

Klauser said that some components of the car may be open for a “little bit” of interpretation in terms of the LMDh regulations, when asked about the rear wing design and current lack of rear-view mirrors.

The car displayed in the images is understood to be a mock-up consisting of a real-life rolling chassis on top of computer-generated imagery.

“What we were able to show you today was ‘the moment in time’ where they had to snap the chalkline to build something,” Klauser explained.

“We’ve been working. We’ve obviously got a race to run in January of 2023. 

“From an overall perspective… when you get to the final homologated race car, you will see that they were the same things.”

While featuring the same 5.5-liter displacement as its ECR-tuned DPi engine, Klauser said they’ve brought development of the all-new “ground-up” V8 powerplant in-house to a Cadillac-specific team in Pontiac, Mich.

It’s a similar structure seen with the Corvette C8.R engine program, which is also overseen by the same director but with a different staff. 

“It’s a brand-new car with a hybrid and everything,” Klauser said. “It drove a lot of new ways of approaching things.

“We could have taken an older engine and made it work or we could have started over and made the right engine. So we chose that option.”

Klauser confirmed the engine has already completed dyno testing with and without the LMDh spec hybrid powertrain.

CGR, AXR to Work “Very Closely Together” in Testing Program

With the first chassis already in the U.S., Klauser said it will begin on-track testing “this summer.”

While not drawn to a specific time, Sportscar365 believes it could happen later this month, in what would initially be a joint effort between Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing.

“Both teams are working very closely together,” said Klauser. “The goal is to get two cars as soon as possible so each of them can have one at their shop.

“But initially when we just have one, it will be housed in Indianapolis next to Dallara but it will have AXR’s participation in the test as well.

“We’ve been planning everything as one unit. We will plan to be there as one unit, helping each other.

“The idea is that we get everybody set on the right foot together so the whole program succeeds.”

When asked about the number of cars earmarked for each series, Klauser indicated there will be two full-season entries in the WeatherTech Championship — one each from CGR and AXR — with one additional car full-time in the WEC.

She said it’s their hope to bring more cars to both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Le Mans depending on parts availability, and in the case of the French endurance classic, invitations from the ACO.

“The supply chain is very limited,” she said. “I think realistically, if we wanted to start adding cars, we couldn’t get parts in time.

“We would have had to made that decision probably at the end of last year to plan appropriately.

“We like the plan we have. We’re happy with keeping it tight for the first year. This is a very complicated new car and we want to make sure that we have our teams set up for success. 

“If you try to stretch yourself too thin, that’s where you run into issues. This, I think, is the right move for the first year. We’ll see where we go from there.

“The program could change as the years evolve. We have five chances with this car to take it to the big races. We’ll be evolving as it makes sense.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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