Of the 16 cars competing in the Hypercar class at this year’s centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three will be the renamed Cadillac V-Series.R prototypes.
The #2 Cadillac, which will contest the full season in the World Endurance Championship, will be run by Chip Ganassi Racing and driven by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook.
The #3 car, Ganassi’s full-time entry in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will see Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande joined by six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, who has scored four Rolex 24 at Daytona wins (three overall, one in the now defunct GTLM class).
As in IMSA, Action Express Racing will run the Whelen Engineering-backed Caddy – renumbered as #311, rather than the #31 it uses in North America – and its drivers will be Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken.
“We are thrilled to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the full Cadillac Racing team,” said the brand’s global VP Rory Harvey. “Over the last 20 years Cadillac Racing has built a legacy of winning on the track and we feel very privileged to return to Le Mans during this exciting new electrified era in racing.”
Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM’s sportscar racing program manager, added: “Cadillac is excited to build on its racing legacy by competing against the very best internationally and at one of the world’s toughest races. We’re proud to be representing the United States and the Cadillac V-Series.R is a great continuation of our racing heritage.”
The 5.5-liter V8-powered V-Series.Rs began on-track development in July 2022 and logged more than 12,500 miles leading into the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona, where they finished third, fourth and fifth on their debut.
Bamber, a two-time Le Mans winner in a Porsche 919, said: “It’s been special to be a part of this from the beginning. We started this journey nearly two years ago testing in the simulator.
“It’s been an awesome journey and the adventure is only just beginning. It’s going to be incredible all the way up to Le Mans.”
The first Cadillacs raced at Le Mans were entered by privateers Briggs Cunningham and Miles and Sam Collier in 1950. The Colliers co-drove the conventional-looking Cadillac Series 61 to 10th place overall, while Cunningham and co-driver Phil Walters were 11th in the streamlined “Le Monstre”, utilizing a similar 5.4-liter V8. However, Sydney Allard and Tom Cole Jr. finished third overall in a Cadillac-powered Allard J2.
Most recently, Cadillac competed at Le Mans in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with its Northstar LMP prototypes. The type’s best finish was ninth in ’02, driven by Max Angelelli, Christophe Tinseau and Wayne Taylor.
Briggs Cunningham, Phil Walters, Cadillac Spider “Le Monstre”, and Miles Collier, Sam Collier, Cadillac Coupe de Ville
Photo by: Motorsport Images