Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cadillac's CTS-V Coupe in SCCA World Challenge Race Trim

Photo Credit: General Motors

Cadillac has seemingly a fair-weathered relationship with auto racing in recent history. Represented in 2000 as an American Le Mans Series sports car prototype, their three-year involvement was turbulent competing agains the likes of Panoz and most notedly the legendary Audi R8. Through the first season was a disaster, major updates through the final two seasons eventually saw the Cadillac team as a podium contender by 2002. However, a decision was made by Cadillac to terminate the program after the 2002 American Le Mans Series season without achieving a single LMP victory.

After the three-year Le Mans Prototype run, Cadillac chose to remain in sports car racing but changed their level of involvement. Focusing on production-based racing, Cadillac entered into the SCCA World Challenge series in 2004 with their new CTS-V cars. Achieving a much more fruitful outing in the GT category of the SCCA World Challenge series, Cadillac operating as a factory team won 12 races between 2005 to 2007.

On December 13th, Cadillac announced an official factory-supported effort now using their newly-minted CTS-V Coupes for the 2011 SCCA World Challenge GT category. Remaining as a production-based sports car series, the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe race car will share the 556-horsepower, 6.2 liter supercharged V-8. The words of Cadillac's vice president of marketing Don Butler provided understanding to the luxury brand's renewed interest in sports car racing saying “Returning to racing in the SCCA World Challenge is a great way to demonstrate the performance and capability of the CTS-V Coupe,”.

Inserting themsleves into a category where the Volvo S60 campaigned by K-Pax Racing, Cadillac Racing has lured one of the 2010 Volvo drivers, Andy Pilgrim, back to the General Motors fold. Pilgrim's sports car racing with GM is referenced with long-term involvement with the American Le Mans Series' Corvette Racing program. Andy Pilgrim was also the 2005 SCCA World Challenge GT champion with the previous Cadillac CTS-V race car. Joining as a veteran to the General Motors sports car driver is Johnny O'Connell who is set to race the two-car Cadillac effort at the 2011 SCCA World Challenge season opener at St Petersburg in late March.

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