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Cadillac back on track

Caddy racer: GM’s premium brand says it will use racing to prove and develop its production cars.

GM takes its premium brand back into racing

12 Jan 2011

IF PROOF was needed that the fiscal handbrake has been released at “The New GM”, then this week’s announcement of a new Cadillac race team surely provides it.

Cadillac marketing chief Don Butler made the announcement at the Detroit auto show, where the company presented a new race-prepared version of its CTS-V Coupe that will contest the Sports Car Club of America’s production car-based 2011 World Challenge series.

The move returns Cadillac to a series in which it competed from 2004 to 2007, twice capturing the Manufacturer’s Championship (2005 and 2007) as well as the Driver’s Championship in 2005.

Cadillac will field two teams in the GT Class with drivers including triple American Le Mans Series champion Johnny O’Connell from New York and Englishman Andy Pilgrim, who took the 2005 title for Cadillac.

“Returning to racing in the SCCA World Challenge is a great way to demonstrate the performance and capability of the CTS-V Coupe,” said Mr Butler.

“The racecars in this series are production-based, which allows us to validate our performance against the best of our competitors on the track, and not just the showroom.”

 center imageCadillac is working with Michigan engineering firm Pratt & Miller to develop the CTS-V Coupe racer, which will debut at the St Petersburg circuit in Florida on March 25-27.

While some of the production components can be modified for racing, Cadillac performance vehicles and motorsport chief Jim Campbell said every effort was taken to maintain as much production content as possible.

“The SCCA World Challenge lends itself well to a natural transfer of knowledge,” said Mr Campbell.

“The series will become a key test-bed for Cadillac. We anticipate using what we learn on the racetrack to ensure the V-Series stays on the cutting-edge of performance.”

The CTS-V was introduced for the 2003 model year and Cadillac added the Coupe to the range for the 2011 model year. The production CTS-Vs feature Brembo brakes, a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 delivering 417kW of power and a Magnetic Ride Control suspension system.

For racing in the World Challenge, both the supercharger and suspension system have to be removed, but Cadillac is understood to be negotiating with the SCCA for their use in the future.

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