Cadillac Racing says its three-day test held earlier this week at Road Atlanta helped to surpass more than 6800 miles of running with its new hybrid IMSA GTP model that will go racing for the first time in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Drivers from the brand’s factory partners at Action Express Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing cycled through the test mule of the Cadillac V-LMDh, the 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated V8-powered prototype, from Monday through Wednesday at the site of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s season finale.
Although no lap times were provided, RACER understands the three GTP manufacturers in attendance — including Acura and BMW — were right on pace with the quickest laps turned by the DPi field in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race.
A newcomer to the factory effort with CGR’s upcoming single-car effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship, Richard Westbrook offered unique insights after stepping from the privateer JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R he raced on Saturday into Cadillac’s next-generation GTP machine.
“Some things are better, some things need improving on, of course,” Westbrook said. “It’s a brand-new car, but a really good first impression. I’m really happy to get my first run out of the way. It was really enjoyable. It’s nice having a comparison while the DPi is still fresh in your mind because it was a very well-sorted car by the end of the development. Right now, we’re just making the car run, putting miles on it and that’s where the focus is. Stage two of the learning process would be unlocking some performance. That’s the bit I’m looking forward to.”
From the AXR side, team veteran Pipo Derani, who is believed to have launched the car into the air exiting Turn 12 on Wednesday and continued, is liking what he’s feeling with the hybrid Cadillac that makes nearly 700hp at full deployment.
“It’s a strong base, as you would expect from Cadillac and so many great minds behind the project,” he said. “When you start with a new car, you never know until you’re actually competing against everyone else, but the feeling of it is actually a good feeling — one that we can start working on and developing. So far everything has been very positive.”