According to Laura Wontrop Klauser, program manager of GM’s sports car racing program, Cadillac is making “great progress” in the development of its V-LMDh after covering more than 11,000 km in testing.
The luxury automaker, which showcased both Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing cars at the recent IMSA-approved test at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, has moved into a more advanced testing phase ahead of the prototype’s debut in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“You never get everything you want because you show up with these crazy, ambitious test plans,” Klauser told reporters during an IMSA-hosted Zoom call. “But, I would say, everyone was happy with our time on the track.
“We are making great progress with the car.
“We moved from running to testing a few tests ago and now we are full steam ahead of working through our plan.
“The more miles we do, the better from a durability point of view and checking all our parts.
“[We’re] working through the whole integration side from the hybrid to the engine to the rest of the car, working on the braking system and even looking at the aerodynamic part of the car.”
While lagging behind Porsche in terms of total mileage, Klauser said the actual number is “probably secondary”, focusing on the car’s dial-in prior to homologation, which is currently underway.
She said Cadillac’s next big focus is a 24-hour test at an undisclosed track, which Sportscar365 believes is Sebring International Raceway, likely alongside Porsche, which is attempting a 36-hour continuous run this month with its 963 prototype.
“The 24-hour test is a big deal for us coming up,” Klauser said.
“When you do that, you learn the most. We’re excited to see how the car performs, to make sure we have all the representative parts on the car to ensure the test is successful.
“In my perfect world, we would have done the 24-hour test in September. It’s something we definitely need to do before we start racing in January.”
While she didn’t disclose an actual target for total mileage, Klauser said she believes she’s been “at least” 50 percent through its development since the first car launched in July.
“The things that are critical to getting ready for January, I’d say we’re about halfway through those items,” she said.
“And then we look beyond January and for the things that we are going to do in the WEC, we have a list for that as well.
“We prioritize getting the car ready for Rolex  just because that comes first and then we’ll look at the WEC schedule and the unique things that WEC tracks bring. ”
Third car at Daytona could limit WEC pre-season testing
Klauser indicated that his single FIA World Endurance Championship Cadillac entry for the entire season on the grid for the Rolex 24 could result in testing the car in Europe until after the WEC season opener in Sebring in March. .
“That could be the case,” she said. “We have not yet finalized our program for next year.
“Honestly, our schedule for this year keeps changing due to circumstances. We’ll see where it fits and where it makes sense.
“It could be after Sebring; it may be earlier. It’s just when we can make it work. This was a wild ride for this test plan to succeed. Everyone has had to learn to be flexible.
“We would like to do some testing in Europe. We need to see when we can fit it in, what tracks we can get [to].
“And then it is now a lengthy process to send things back and forth. So it’s figuring out what we can fit in the limited time we have.”
While admitting it’s “not easy” to add a third car for Daytona, Klauser said she’s confident she’ll hit the mark despite supply chain challenges.
“When we made the decision to continue, we were convinced that this was the right step for us,” she said. “I don’t believe that any of that trust has changed.
“I don’t see a huge impact on anything we do. Every time we turn on these cars, we learn.
“It would be good to go to some tracks in Europe as soon as possible, but even if we drive around the track in the US, we’re improving the program.
“I’m glad we have the three cars at Daytona because it forces us to have all three cars ready for the race in January and go from there.”