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Cadillac targets three LMDh entries at 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours

Cadillac has signalled an intent to have three of its new V-LMDh prototypes on the grid at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

All-new Cadillac V-LMDh in action

All-new Cadillac V-LMDh in action

Cadillac Communications

The General Motors brand’s sportscar racing programme manager, Laura Klauser, has revealed a plan to run “as many cars as we can” at the double-points round of the World Endurance Championship in 2023 without giving a firm number.

That suggests that Cadillac is aiming to have all three of the V-LMDhs that will be racing next year across the WEC and the IMSA SportsCar Championship at the French enduro on 10-11 June.

It would mean the solo full-season WEC Cadillac Racing entry run by Chip Ganassi Racing being joined by the American team’s IMSA car and the V-LMDh also run in a full North American campaign by Action Express Racing.

The latest comments from Klauser represent a step forward on previous indications of Cadillac’s plans for Le Mans: she said in July that it wanted to add its full-season WEC entry and have multiple cars present.

Klauser stressed, however, that an increased Cadillac presence in the Hypercar field at Le Mans will be dependent on any additional entries being accepted by race organiser and WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

“You have to be invited by the ACO to come to Le Mans,” she said.

“If you have a full-season entry, you’re guaranteed Le Mans because that’s part of the season, so we’ll have at least one.

“The rest of it is waiting for that communication and working it out with the ACO: it will come down to what it says on the invitation.”

Cadillac V-LMDh

Cadillac V-LMDh

Photo by: Cadillac Communications

Klauser has also reaffirmed plans to have three cars in the GTP field when the V-LMDh makes its race debut in next year’s Daytona 24 Hours, the IMSA series opener.

That means the Ganassi WEC car joining the two regular IMSA entries for the US enduro on 28-29 January.

“Our goal is to be there with three - I see us meeting that goal,” she said.

Klauser suggested that the plan for all three Caddys to race at Daytona will not compromise the WEC campaign, which begins in March with the Sebring 1000 Miles.

“When we made the decision to go forward, we were confident that it was the right move for us,” she said.

“I don’t see a huge impact on anything that we’re doing; whenever we turn these cars on, we’re learning.

“I’m glad we have the three cars at Daytona because it forces us to have all three cars race ready in January and go from there.”

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The V-LMDh has yet to test in Europe and Klauser was only able to say that there is hope to get in some running at tracks visited by the WEC prior to the start of the season.

“It would be good to get to some tracks in Europe as soon as we can, but even as we drive around the tracks in the USA, we’re enhancing the programme,” she explained.

Asked whether it is now looking likely that the Caddy will not test in Europe until after Sebring, Klauser replied: “That could be the case: we have not finalised our schedule for next year.

“Honestly, our schedule for this year keeps changing just due to circumstances; we’ll see where it [European testing] slots in and where it makes sense.”

All-new Cadillac V-LMDh in action

All-new Cadillac V-LMDh in action

Photo by: Cadillac Communications

Klauser described a 24-hour test as “the next big thing” in the Caddy development programme, which after last week’s official IMSA test for LMDh entrants at Road Atlanta has encompassed a total of 11,000km miles of running with two cars.

“We’d like to do a 24-hour test before the end of the year,” she said. “You learn the most when you do those.”

She would not be drawn on when or where the test would be and whether it would be before the next official IMSA test at Daytona in early December, only that it would be “before January”.

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