Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has today officially confirmed that three Cadillac Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race cars will compete in the full 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype (P) class, beginning with the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2017. 

“Cadillac is proud to return to the pinnacle of prototype racing in North America after a 14-year absence.” said de Nysschen. 

The new car, to be known as the Cadillac DPi-V.R is the first prototype race car from the New York-headquartered manufacturer since 2002.

“It is not possible to overstate how thrilled all of us at IMSA are to officially welcome Cadillac, one of the world’s most respected premium automotive brands, back to Prototype racing in the WeatherTech Championship,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “This is exactly the type of program we had in mind when we announced the Daytona Prototype international concept last year.”

The DPi cars share a chassis with the LMP2 prototypes that compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the European & Asian Le Mans Seris and are built by one of four approved constructors—Dallara, Onroak Automotive, ORECA or Riley/Multimatic.

However IMSA’s new class invites manufacturers into the ranks whereas FIA/ACO rules require all LMP2 teams to be privateers. Additionally, in ACO/FIA sanctioned events the LMP2 platform will run stock bodywork and engines while the DPi is free to customise the nose, sidepods, rear wheel arches and rear valance to echo the manufacturer’s production offerings; the important aero bits, including the splitter, the floor, and the diffuser, remain identical to the WEC version of the chassis. 

Photo: Richard Prince / Road and Track
Testing with Wayne Taylor Racing in New York. Photo: Richard Prince / Road and Track

GM, owners of the Cadillac brand confirmed that Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing each will field Cadillac DPi-V.R machines next season. Action Express, which has won the last three WeatherTech Championship Prototype titles, will have a pair of Cadillacs, while the Wayne Taylor Racing team continues its longstanding relationship with General Motors through a single-car effort.

“Cadillac’s V-Performance production models — the ATS-V and CTS-V — are transforming our brand’s product substance, earning a place among the world’s elite high performance marques,” continued de Nysschen. “The Cadillac DPi-V.R further strengthens our V-Performance portfolio, placing Cadillac into the highest series of sports car racing in North America.”

The Cadillac DPi-V.R will be powered by a normally aspirated, 6.2-litre Cadillac sourced V-8 engine, which shares inherent architecture with engines that power the third-generation Cadillac CTS-V and fifth-generation Cadillac Escalade production vehicles. The chassis is a Dallara LMP2 with styling cues inspired by Cadillac’s current line of V-Performance high-performance production models, specifically the Cadillac CTS-V.

cadillac-dpi-v-r-2

The new Cadillac DPi-V.R will make its public on-track debut during a two-day IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway on Dec. 13-14.

Cadillac joins Mazda and Nissan as confirmed DPi manufacturers for IMSA’s top Prototype class, which also will include international LM P2 prototype chassis from Riley/Multimatic, Ligier, ORECA and Dallara, powered by single-specification Gibson V8 engines.