Cadillac Poised for Return to World Challenge
Following meetings with World Challenge technical and competition staff and an announcement by the brand in late December, Cadillac will return to racing in 2011 with a race-prepared version of its CTS-V Coupe competing in the World Challenge Championships, North America’s top production-based racecar series. The brand returns to the series it competed in from 2004 to 2007.
Cadillac captured the GT Manufacturer’s Championship in 2005 and 2007 and the GT Driver’s Championship in 2005 with the CTS-V Sport Sedan and will field two teams in the upcoming 2011 World Challenge GT season with the CTS-V Coupe. The CTS-V line, which also includes the CTS-V Sedan and CTS-V Wagon, was recently named to Car and Driver magazine’s 10 Best list for 2011. Johnny O’Connell, a three-time GT1 champion in the America Le Mans Series, and Andy Pilgrim, who won the 2005 World Challenge GT Driver’s Championship in a Cadillac, will be behind the wheel of the CTS-V racecars.
“World Challenge is excited to welcome Cadillac back into the series in 2011,” said Dave Drimmie, VP, Marketing and Communications for WC Vision. “The CTS-V Sport Sedans were huge fan favorites and created a lot of buzz in the paddock when they ran in the series a few years ago and I know the CTS-V Coupe will be no different. Our fans are in for a treat with Pilgrim and O’Connell piloting these racecars as they go door to door with the other highly skilled drivers in our series.”
“Returning to racing in the SCCA World Challenge is a great way to demonstrate the performance and capability of the CTS-V Coupe,” said Don Butler, Vice President for Cadillac Marketing at the announcement. “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.”
Cadillac is working with Pratt & Miller, a New Hudson, Mich., engineering firm which specializes in motorsports, to develop the CTS-V Coupe racecar. While some of the production CTS-V components will be modified due to the unique demands of racing or to meet the SCCA series’ technical rules, every effort is taken to maintain as much production content as possible.
“The SCCA World Challenge lends itself well to a natural transfer of knowledge,” said Jim Campbell, GM Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “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 new CTS-V machines will be on display in race trim at the North American International Auto Show at the COBO Center in Detroit, Mich., January 10-23, 2011.
The first event on the World Challenge 2011 schedule is a doubleheader, March 25-27, on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla, as part of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IZOD IndyCar weekend. Eight events and 12 total races make up the 22nd consecutive year of the World Challenge Championships and will showcase Sports Car Wars as World Challenge competitors will once again contend for Driver, Manufacturer and Team Championships in the individual GT, GTS and Touring Car categories.
Introduced for the 2003 model year, the CTS-V has quickly earned a reputation among luxury sports car buyers. For the 2011 model year, Cadillac added the CTS-V Coupe and the CTS-V Sport Wagon to the CTS-V Sport Sedan, creating an impressive family of performance vehicles. The CTS-Vs feature Brembo brakes, a supercharged 6.2L V8 delivering 556 horsepower and a Magnetic Ride Control suspension system that can read and react to the road 1,000 times a second.