Cadillac may not be the first name many think of when the topic comes to racing, but the luxury brand is making a return to the Sports Car Club of America’s World Challenge series in 2011. Its weapon of choice? A race-prepared version of the new CTS-V Coupe.
Cadillac is no stranger to the SCCA World Challenge, having contested the GT Class series in a Cadillac CTS-V sedan during the 2004-2007 seasons. Cadillac even won the Manufacturer's Championship in 2005 and 2007, also scoring the Driver's Championship in 2005 with driver Andy Pilgrim. Pilgrim is back for the 2011 effort, alongside fellow American driver Johnny O'Connell, himself a motorsports veteran.
The SCCA World Challenge series is production based, meaning all cars competing are racing versions of road cars able to be purchased by the general public. While each car is upgraded in terms of both performance and safety, including some bodywork modification and tuning of the engine, suspension, and brakes, the cars remain relatively close to their production specification.
"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. '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."
Pratt & Miller, an engineering firm in Michigan that has also been responsible for Chevrolet's all-conquering C5.R and C6.R race cars, along with the new Corvette GT2 class American Le Mans Series racers and road-going C6RS, will be co-developing the CTS-V Coupe race car with GM's performance department. Like many others competing in production-based series, General Motors say it will use what it learns to further the development of its street cars.
"The SCCA World Challenge lends itself 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 2011 SCCA World Challenge series opens March 25-27 in St. Petersburg, Florida.