Cadillac Positively Dominated IMSA Prototype Racing In 2017

Certain manufacturers we’ve come to expect to dominate endurance prototype racing: Audi, Porsche, even Toyota or Peugeot. But Cadillac?

Yes, Cadillac. The American luxury marque positively dominated the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year, wrapping up just about all the top titles in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta this past weekend.

Cadillac returned to top-tier motor racing this season with the DPi-V.R, essentially a Dallara P217 LMP2 chassis (one of four approved for use by the FIA, ACO, and IMSA), powered by Caddy’s own 6.2-liter V8 and unique bodywork. And it not only started winning right out the gate, it kept winning until there was nothing left to win.

Out of the ten races this season that included the top-tier prototypes, the DPi-V.R won the first seven – including the endurance races at Daytona, Sebring, and Watkins Glen. Despite a poor showing at Road Atlanta, the Cadillac entries still accumulated enough points to win all six top titles, including the drivers’, teams’, and manufacturers’ trophies for both the full season and the endurance cup (for the five long-distance races).

In fact, Cadillac drivers locked out the top three spots in the standings, leaving those running under Nissan, Mazda, and Gibson power fighting for table scraps. Nissans won at Road America in Wisconsin this past August, and at Road Atlanta this past weekend, with a Gibson-powered Ligier winning at Laguna Seca. Otherwise, though, it was all Cadillac.

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  • Smith

    It is not unusual for American car companies to win at the IMSA Grand Am Series. They have always received advantageous balance of performance considerations, like Corvette and Ford have received. Not surprising and not impressive as far as Cadillac is concerned, and remember there is not one single piece of this race car that is Cadillac or was developed by Cadillac, not one piece other than the logo. Still no one will buy their cars, unless they are over 80 years old.

    • CarCzarDesigner

      Well said. Unless Cadillac starts making some specialty sports-cars & or exotics like the Cien, I feel their Racing Program is a big waste of money. The brand is still thought of as being tied to Tail-fins, bloated & oversized American behemoths that are outdated and stuck in the Pop-Culture of the 1950s. Cadillac also makes these armored tanks the President rides around in. Image-wise, it is a very mixed message. The brand is not BMW and the despite their racing victories, I don’t think most sports car racing enthusiasts that prefer European marques will be convinced. The product isn’t there & they can see this for what it is.

    • SteersUright

      Well said. Nobody every doubted GM’s ability to make fast cars. Everyone continues to doubt their ability to make refined, high quality, well-designed mainstream consumer cars on par with the European and Japanese. Seems like the big-wigs are more interested in the prestige of winning a few races that dont even matter as opposed to focusing on properly breaking down their massively over-bureaucratic, design-by-focus-group approach to auto making which always leads to stale designs, poor execution, and new cars that feel years behind the competition in one way or another.

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