Cadillac linked to Le Mans return with LMDh programme

General Motors has dropped heavy hints that it will take the Cadillac brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours if it gives the green light to its LMDh programme.

Cadillac linked to Le Mans return with LMDh programme

Laura Klauser, manager of GM's sportscar programmes, has revealed that bringing Cadillac back to Le Mans for the first time since the end of the Northstar LMP programme in 2002 is on the agenda for the American manufacturer.

"It will depend on if we are going down that path with Cadillac and the programme goals, but there are going to be some discussions about how to get to a certain big race that happens in France once a year," said Klauser, speaking in Le Mans.

"If that that is part of the requirement, then we need to make the decision on how important it is that we are here.

"Historically, I would say pretty important."

Klauser added that Cadillac is slowly growing a presence in the European road car market.

"To have the opportunity to complement that with a race programme is always exciting, but that decision hasn't been firmed up yet."

Klauser appeared to rule out a full-season attack in the World Endurance Championship, at the centre of which Le Mans sits.

"There is always a very close discussion between us and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest [the Le Mans organiser and WEC promoter]," she said.

"Just spitballing, if you look at how the grid is shaping I don't think they would need the field to look extra nice."

#2 Team Cadillac Cadillac Northstar: Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele, Max Angelelli

#2 Team Cadillac Cadillac Northstar: Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele, Max Angelelli

Photo by: Motorsport Images

ACO president Pierre Fillon has intimated that there will be an expectation that manufacturers wanting to race in the top class at Le Mans when LMDh comes on stream will have to compete in at least some WEC rounds.

An announcement on the continuation of Cadillac's prototype programme, which began in IMSA's Daytona Prototype international class in 2017, into the LMDh era starting in 2023 has twice been delayed.

The delays have come at a time when GM is still formulating its racing plans for the Chevrolet Corvette after the IMSA SportsCar Championship's announcement that it is dropping the GTE rules to which the latest mid-engined C8.R is built in favour of GT3 for next year.

Klauser suggested that there would be no announcement on GM's racing plans for either Cadillac or Chevrolet until it has firmed up the direction for both brands.

"As soon as we are ready to say we are good to go, the announcements will be made," said Klauser.

Read Also:

She re-iterated Chevrolet's commitment to return to Le Mans in 2022 with the C8.R, but the future of the Corvette Racing programme beyond next year remains fluid.

IMSA has stated that Chevrolet will be able to race on with the C8.R in modified form in the GT Daytona-Pro class for GT3 cars next year.

But this will be conditional on Chevrolet committing to developing a GT3 car for the future.

Klauser explained that GM is still seeking clarity on the future of GT racing at Le Mans beyond the ACO's present commitment to the GTE Pro and Am classes until the end of 2022.

She stressed the importance of Chevrolet being able to race in some kind of pro division at a time when speculation suggests that the ACO could be ready to slim the GT ranks down to single class for amateur line-ups.

"It is part of how we represent the brand, and the way we are able to bring our team and have the best of the best in the car.

"That's important: is it a deal breaker if we can't? We are not ready to say that."

She also stated that Chevrolet favoured there being a performance differential between pro and am classes, which IMSA announced last month will not be the case in when GTD Pro comes on stream in 2022.

shares
comments

Related video

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

Previous article

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

Next article

Autosport Podcast: Le Mans 24 Hours Preview

Autosport Podcast: Le Mans 24 Hours Preview
Load comments
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
10 things we've learned from the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours so far Plus

10 things we've learned from the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Autosport picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team by team guide Plus

Le Mans 2021: The team by team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in Le Mans' underrated class Plus

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in Le Mans' underrated class

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Plus

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021