With the current CTS-V model reaching the end of its production cycle, Cadillac is evaluating options for its V-Series GT racing platform, including the possibility of building a car to FIA GT3 specifications.
The luxury automaker, which has swept the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships in Pirelli World Challenge the last two years, however, has yet to come to a decision on the successor to the Cadillac CTS-V.R, which has been in World Challenge competition for the last four seasons.
“We’re committed to GT and there’s variations in GT and we’re looking at all of them,” Cadillac Racing technical program manager David Caldwell told Sportscar365 in an exclusive interview.
“There’s a huge amount of global opportunity in GT3 and a lot of potential success there but it’s not the only strategy to play. Our options are open for a couple different directions to go.”
Caldwell said their current car, built by Pratt & Miller to legacy World Challenge specifications, is legal through the end of the 2016 season, although the recent influx of FIA GT3 machinery to the sprint race championship has led to much debate over the Balance of Performance between the two platforms.
The pair of CTS-V.Rs for two-time and reigning champion Johnny O’Connell and teammate Andy Pilgrim, plus the all-wheel-drive Acura TLX GT, which debuted last weekend at Mid-Ohio, are the only GT class cars in the series not conforming to FIA GT3 regulations.
While North American and European sources have indicated Cadillac’s ambitions of jumping into the FIA GT3 market, Caldwell denied that any decision has already been made, even if a new car would make its on track debut next year.
“If you look the differences in GT3, GTD or [World Challenge] GT, you can put those together from a foundation,” he said. “You can go this way or that way over a period of months pretty easily.
“At this point, we want to keep all of our options open. We want to look into all of the series, all of the classes and all of the variations and want to make the best decisions to deliver on the goals for Cadillac.”
Cadillac Racing, meanwhile, has yet to confirm a return to World Challenge for a fifth consecutive season, but according to John Kraemer, Cadillac V-Series and Racing Marketing Manager, no major changes are expected in the program for 2015.
“The success that we’ve seen here and seeing the series grow, it’s been a good thing to be a part of,”Kraemer told Sportscar365. “I don’t see any drastic changes.
“But as we develop new products for the street and we move forward in the development of the race program, there’s going to be other opportunities to get that that additional reach.”
Kraemer has expressed interest in a customer program, although no decision has been made.
“There’s a huge opportunity where Cadillac hasn’t dipped our toe into yet,” he said. “I’m not going to say, ‘Yeah we’re going to have a customer racing program.’
“Does it interest us? Yeah. But there’s a number of other different things that go into setting up and starting a program like that.”