When Cadillac’s new racecar is entered into the IMSA Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event in March, it should be a cakewalk, because the team behind the car has already conducted a 24-hour test at the track in order to prepare the endurance racer for its first season of competition in 2023.
The Cadillac V-LMDh is the brand’s entry into the top classes of both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, and it revealed today that the car has logged nearly 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of on-track testing since July 2022.
That includes the aforementioned 24-hour test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida with a Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared car, as well a shorter endurance test with an Action Express Racing-prepared car.
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The point of both tests was to submit the new racecar to the grueling conditions of the bumpy 3.741-mile (6.020 km) track that has been a staple on the endurance racing calendar for decades. Data was also collected from race-equivalent stints, which was important for the team.
“To complete that endurance test was extra motivation for our team and provided a sense of accomplishment,” said Laura Wontrop Klauser, the Cadillac Racing Program’s manager. “We still have a lot to do in a short time, but we are at the point where we are fine-tuning many things.”
In addition, the team was also able to test the V-LMDh at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in October right after the Petit Le Mans race at the famed track. According to the program’s assistant manager, Kalvin Parker, that test was very helpful for the drivers, who had driven the competition event in Cadillac’s DPi racecars.
“For the drivers to go directly from the DPi to the V-LMDh on the same track was very helpful for understanding the limits with the new race car,” Parker said. “They’ve been at a few tracks, where they can compare the differences in weight and differences in power. The growth the teams have made from the first couple of tests, in terms of their comfort level with the cars, has been dramatic, as they push the systems and their understanding of the car further.”
Cadillac will finish its testing regimen on December 6 and 7 at the Daytona International Speedway. That will be an important test, because the Cadillac V-LMDh will make its competition debut at the same track at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28. The car’s final livery will be revealed ahead of the event on the Cadillac V-Series Instagram account in mid-January.