Cadillac’s decision to commit to a full-season FIA World Endurance Championship program with its LMDh project has been made to help grow the brand in Europe and other regions according to its sports car racing program manager.
The luxury automaker will undertake a dual WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program with the Cadillac LMDh-V.R beginning in 2023 with Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing.
While yet to be announced, both teams are expected to campaign cars in the WeatherTech Championship, with Ganassi likely charged with the full-season WEC program.
“We want to really get as much exposure out of the program as possible so we’re taking the opportunity to have a full WEC season program as well as the full IMSA season,” Laura Wontrop Klauser told Sportscar365.
“Cadillac is trying to grow its markets and I think WEC will be a very interesting way to showcase the car in a way we’ve never been able to do.
“We’ve only ever had Cadillac Racing in the latest times here in the U.S., where the majority of our market still is.
“With the global expansion in mind, it’s always neat to have something to back up to give people the exposure.”
Klauser said Cadillac is in all of the markets on the current WEC schedule with the exception of Japan, which offers brand synergy throughout the majority of the calendar.
“The biggest markets for Cadillac are the U.S. and China, which is pretty true for a lot of brands, I think,” she said.
“We have the XT4 that’s currently in Europe and I believe there’s plans for growth there.
“Any of the European races will make sense. I don’t know what our situation is with Japan but our Escalade is very popular in the Middle East. So I think Bahrain is a good one.”
In addition to guaranteeing its presence in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Klauser said its WEC participation will lead to “more track time” to better develop the car for all conditions and situations.
“It’s more data,” she said. “We engineers love our data.
“Any time you can expose the car to different situations and learn something, and that learning can be applied in different situations, it helps you with the overall program.”
Dallara Continuation Puts Program in “Good Spot”
Klauser said its continuation of chassis partner Dallara from its championship-winning DPi program will put them in a solid position heading into the LMDh era.
“Any time you’re building off of something that you’ve already established, you’re in a good spot,” Klauser said. “You don’t have to start over, you don’t have to learn everybody’s names and figure out how to work best together.
“We’ve done that with Dallara and we’ve been thrilled with the relationship that we have with them in the DPi program.
“It’s one of the main reasons we want to continue on with them with LMDh.
“I guess you can look at it as an advantage but for sure it’s made my life and everybody who’s working with me’s lives easier just continuing off where we’re at instead of having to start over.”