Cadillac Racing was the talk of the paddock at Petit Le Mans on October 14th, 2023, capping off a stellar 2023 racing season with a few new trophies to add to the case.
In a twist ending that altered the course of the race and championship, the No. 31 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, in the hands of Pipo Derani, blocked the Acura of Filipe Albuquerque, who had attempted a pass on the outside for the race lead. The two race cars made contact, forcing the Acura into the wall while Derani was able to continue on. Thanks to that incident, the Cadillac Racing team of Derani and Alexander Sims went on to win the inaugural GTP championship title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“He was too optimistic trying to go around the outside,” Derani said of Albuquerque.
The No. 31 V-Series.R went on to finish sixth. Meanwhile, the No. 01 V-Series.R of Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon earned the factory title for Cadillac, thanks to a risky pit strategy that put them ahead of the No. 7 Porsche, who was also in contention for the title. The Porsche team elected to stay out for one more lap than the Cadillac team, which ultimately cost them track position and tipped the scales in Caddy’s favor.
“You can’t ask for better than straight As,” said GM sports car racing program manager, Laura Wontrop Klauser. “This program has been a challenge of resilience, and everyone has stepped up – all of the partners that are involved from GM, Dallara, our race teams, our hybrid-supplier partners. We delivered excellent results.”
She added, “It was not an easy year. We had our ups, and we had our downs. Ultimately our eyes were on the prize, and we were ready to seize any opportunity that was thrown at us.”