Cadillac is targeting a spring 2022 rollout for its new LMDh car according to GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser.
The recently confirmed Dallara-chassied prototype will compete in a dual-series campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship beginning in 2023.
Klauser said they’re hoping to begin on-track testing with the Cadillac LMDh-V.R this spring, although said it would be dependent on no supply-chain delays that’s currently impacting the industry.
The timeline compares to Porsche’s LMDh car, which is expected to hit the track before the end of this year and the ORECA-chassied Acura that’s on a similar schedule.
“We want it to [hit the track] as soon as possible as we want to get as much testing done as we can,” Klauser told Sportscar365.
“I think we’re hoping for sometime in the spring but we’re still working through the details on production.
“Just like everybody in this paddock, COVID has thrown some monkey wrenches in getting parts.
“If you try to get a crankshaft right now, it’s damn near impossible. The lead times are just crazy.
“If all goes to plan we’ll try and get there as soon as we can but there’s always that [possibility] that one part is going to trip you up.”
Despite that the released render depicted the car wingless, similar to the Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar, Klauser confirmed its LMDh car will run with a traditional rear wing.
“We need to have a rear wing per the regulations,” she said.
“What we wanted to share with everybody was the vision. That was one of the very early renderings that sold the program in the company and got us excited about it.
“It was too cool not to share. I think you’ll see as announcements continue to come and if we have visuals, you’ll see the car evolving into where it’s going to be when it hits the pavement.
“But there’s no reason why you wouldn’t see the connection back [to the brand]. Because it definitely was our vision.
“One of the things that makes LMDh rules so appealing is that they’ve given us way more styling freedom than we had in DPi.
“The whole point is to have that connection back to the brand.
“I’m really proud how of how the DPi turned out. I think when you see it, it is a Cadillac. With the LMDh, it’s just that next step.”
Customer Cars Ruled Out for 2023
Klauser said she “can’t comment one way or another” on the possibility of additional teams joining the Cadillac fray alongside the already-announced Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing but has essentially ruled out customer cars for the at least the first year of the program.
NASCAR powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports, which is currently partnered with AXR for a Michelin Endurance Cup-only program with a second Cadillac DPi-V.R, has been allegedly looking at a scaled-up program.
Rumors of a Hendrick buyout of the Jim France and Bob Johnson-owned team, however, have been denied by both parties.
In addition to CGR and AXR, JDC-Miller Motorsports currently campaigns a customer Cadillac DPi, which looks set to end at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
“We’re not shutting any doors right now,” Klauser said. “I think if you look at the field that’s coming for LMDh you need to bring your ‘A’ game.
“Having a team approach that wants to fully fund their operation, that would probably be something we’d entertain a little bit later in the lifecycle.
“It wouldn’t be something we’d launch with. It’s not something we’re heavily looking into at the moment.”
JDC-Miller team principal John Church told Sportscar365 that they’re “looking at all options” for 2023, with a decision not likely for another six months.
Church, however, said they will be on the grid next year with its Mustang Sampling-sponsored Cadillac DPi.