Cadillac’s entrance to the racing circuit can be directly attributed to two things: developments on high-performance aircraft engines during WWII and the post-war availability of high-octane gasoline. Cadillac engineers were then able to create a high-compression overhead-valve V8 engine. Initially designed for production models (the first engine of its kind on the mass market), racecar drivers immediately recognized its power potential.

 

With that under the hood, Cadillacs took first in both the 1949 Milwaukee 100 stock car race and 250-mile 1952 NASCAR Speedway. However, the most storied moment of the early years was the 1950 entry of two Cadillac Series 61s into the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. One was a classic production model fitted with a racing engine. The other, nicknamed “Le Monstre” by competitors because of its appearance, was stripped down to a custom aerodynamic body completely unlike postwar Cadillac styling. The showroom model finished 10th; the aero-bodied model, 11th (despite spending 30 minutes stuck in a gravel trap).

In 1992, Cadillac announced the 4.6L North Star V8 engine for production models and eventually put them into CTS-V.R racing models.

 

Cadillac engineers continued to push the limits of engineering and power, entering the Prototype racing circuit from 2000 to 2002 with a new series of Cadillac North Star LMP race cars. At the time they were unprecedentedly powerful and though they did not post wins, Cadillac’s entry into the circuit was a milestone for the brand.

In 2004, Cadillac entered the ultra-competitive SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT Championship with the CTS-V.R Sedan. From their debut in 2004 to 2007, Team Cadillac CTS-V.R Sedans won a Manufacturer’s Championship (2005), a Driver’s Championship, had 10 wins, seven pole position starts and 36 podium finishes, including wins.

Cadillac returned to professional racing in 2011 with two CTS-V.R Coupes in the Pirelli World Challenge GT Series. In 2012, the team won the Driver Championship as well as taking second place, and added another Manufacturer title to the Cadillac racing pedigree. By the 2014 World Challenge seasons, Cadillac Racing had continued to prove itself, winning two more Driver Championships and Cadillac adding its fourth and fifth Manufacturer titles.

In spring 2015, Cadillac Racing debuted the new ATS-V.R Coupe, powered by a 600-hp, twin-turbocharged GM LF4.R V6 engine homologated to international FIA GT3 specifications. With the introduction of this powerful new vehicle, the years to come are sure to hold impressive stats for Cadillac Racing.

Cadillac Racing returned to endurance prototype racing with the all-new Cadillac DPi-V.R cars for the 2017 IMSA season. Fielding three cars in this series, Cadillac Racing is off to an impressive start and is preparing for a sweep of the manufacturer and driver championships.

Learn more about Cadillac in the Pirelli World Challenge in the Overview & Schedule page.

Learn more about Cadillac in the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Championship in the Overview & Schedule page.