The all-new V-LMDh racer fielded by Cadillac Racing for the IMSA circuit made its first competition showing at the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona. Racing alongside rivals in the newly formed GTP class, the V-LMDh proved that it will be a formidable competitor on the endurance racing scene, as the three Caddy-badged entries finished third, fourth and fifth.
The No. 01 Cadillac Racing machine, driven by Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande for this event, rallied back from an incident that put it two laps down. Dixon was forced to brake in order to evade a spinning race car from another class, taking rear damage as another competitor was unable to avoid the No. 01 V-LMDh. Repairs to the bodywork followed, putting the No. 01 V-LMDh off the pace. A drive-through penalty was also assessed to Dixon later on after leaving the pits with the fuel hose still attached.
“Obviously, we didn’t run the perfect race but as close as you can get to it considering it was the first outing in a race for the Cadillac V-LMDh,” Bourdais said of his team’s performance. “Honestly, I just didn’t think it was going to take the perfect race.”
Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken co-drove the No. 31 V-LMDh at Daytona. The No. 31 Caddy was involved in a wreck that damaged its suspension, prompting a lengthy repair that put the team 12 laps down. “It’s just one of those things and one of those races where you have to be there at the end and unfortunately, we got crashed by a GT,” said Derani. However, once the repairs were made, the No. 31 V-LMDh bounced back to a decent finish, though it never really got the chance to shine.
Meanwhile, the No. 02 Cadillac Racing team, which competes in World Endurance Championship, was driven by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook to a fourth-place finish on the lead lap, without incident.
Overall, Cadillac Racing said that it was pleased with the performance of the new race car. All three vehicles crossed the finish line, and none of them displayed any sort of mechanical or hybrid unit issues.