Cadillac CTS-V.R: Racing and winning in the Pirelli World Challenge


Lead Photo CTS-Vs 02The Cadillac CTS-V series of vehicles are General Motors’ prestige performance cars that are challenging the best cars the world has to offer. Cadillac has thrown down the gauntlet in the marketplace and they’ve taken the offensive to the racetrack as well. Team Cadillac successfully competes in the Pirelli World Challenge with the CTS-V.R, a special racing version of the CTS-V Coupe. In 2014, Team Cadillac will be defending their manufacturer’s championships and the driver’s championships they won in 2012 and 2013.

Pirelli World Challenge Series

The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) is a production-based road racing series that provides manufacturers a competitive arena in which to prove their products. PWC races are sprint races of 50 minutes duration. There are no scheduled pit stops, no driver changes and not a lot of racing strategy—if a driver is not starting at the front of the class, he or she has 50 minutes of flat-out driving to get there.

Cadillac CTS-V.R

The Cadillac CTS-V.R is a specially modified version of the CTS-V Coupe. Anything that does not contribute to the CTS-V.R accelerating faster, stopping quicker or handling better has been tossed out. It weighs in about 1,000 pounds lighter that the street-legal Coupe and is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that is restricted by PWC rules to 505 horsepower. Brembo brakes provide enough stopping power to make your eyes bug out and Pirelli racing tires give it plenty of cornering grip.

CTS-V 02Team Cadillac Drivers

The CTS-V.R is undoubtedly a superb race car, but a team doesn’t win consecutive championships in the very competitive PWC without exceptional drivers, and Team Cadillac has two of the best—Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim. Both are experienced and talented, and both have won multiple drivers championships in the PWC for Cadillac in addition to being successful at Le Mans and Sebring. The competitive fire still burns intensely and once the green flag drops, no quarter is asked or given.

Here’s a video of Team Cadillac in action.

New Players for 2014

Team Cadillac’s quest for a manufacturer’s GT Class championship three-peat this year was thrown a potential stumbling block by a change in the PWC rules allowing FIA-homologated GT3 cars to compete in GT. The CTS-V.R will now have to go head-to-head against some of the best cars in the world—the Audi R8, McLaren 12C, Nissan GTR, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche GT3 R, Acura TLX-GT and the Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia.

After four races at three different venues this year, it looks like business as usual—Team Cadillac finds itself in first place in the manufacturer’s points, while Johnny and Andy are second and third in the driver’s standings.

The next race for Team Cadillac will be the V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, in Detroit Mich. on the weekend of May 30-June 1. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on Sunday, June 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Tune in and root for Team Cadillac to extend their lead, and for Johnny and Andy to move up in the driver’s standings.



Cadillac Racing

Don’t miss these nice Cadillac Racing shots — click for larger versions:


Johnny O’Connell, 2012 Pirelli World Challenge GT Driver’s Champion, and Andy Pilgrim, runner-up in GT points, are poised to keep the Cadillac CTS-V Coupes at the front of the World Challenge field in 2013 (Richard Prince/Cadillac Racing Photo).


Cadillac is ready to carry forward its championship-winning effort from 2012 into the new season of the Pirelli World Challenge Series (Richard Prince/Cadillac Racing Photo).


Racing the Cadillac CTS-V

Racing the Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac Racing, SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge, Johnny O’Connell drives the #3 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and Andy Pilgrim drives the #8 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (Richard Prince/Cadillac Racing Photo).

Racing the Cadillac CTS-V in the World Challenge Series lets Cadillac put their cars where the action is.  Racing improves the breed, and by racing a Cadillac CTS-V that is not only production based but very close to the production model Cadillac can directly translate lessons from the track to the street.

Here is a direct comparison from the CTS-V Coupe to the CTS-V Coupe Race Car:

CTS-V Coupe Road to Race Car Specification Comparison

Specification CTS-V Coupe Road Car CTS-V  Coupe Race Car
Body structure Strategically placed high-strength steel in unibody construction Reinforced production unibody with race-designed safety cage
Weight Curb weight 4,222 lbs. Curb weight 3,200 lbs. with mandated competition ballast, 50/50 weight distribution
Engine 6.2L supercharged V-8 (RWD); 556 hp @ 6100; torque 551@3800 6.2L, 90-degree V-8 with aluminum block and heads; 460 hp @ 5400; torque 447@4400
Transmission Six-speed manual Sequential six-speed transmission, no lift shift
Differential Locking rear, 4.15 final drive Limited-slip differential with 3.0 final drive
Brakes Brembo brakes six-piston front/four-piston, four-wheel ABS disc Brembo brakes, six-pot front with 355 mm rotor, four pot rear with 328 mm rotor, race spec four-wheel disc
Wheels 19-in. aluminum alloy BBS 12 x 18-in. aluminum rear wheels with 11 x 18-in. fronts
Tires Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 performance tires Pirelli racing slicks, front 305/645 x 18, rear 315/675 x 18, series spec
Steering ZF Servotronic® 2,6 speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion; variable ratio Steering, variable power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Suspension Front and rear independent with StabiliTrak electronic stability control system Three-way adjustable dampers (shocks); front independent SLA, race-modified; rear race-modified independent multi-link
Steering Wheel Adjustable leather-wrapped with radio controls Carbon fiber with six knobs and 12 buttons controlling everything from driver drink bottle to launch control
Seating Heated and ventilated driver and front passenger Recaro 14-way power-adjustable performance seats Single Pratt & Miller-designed cool seat, custom-fitted to driver
Safety Driver and passenger side air bags, passenger air bag on/off switch, OnStar Automatic Crash Response, etc. Pratt & Miller-developed side impact-reducing crush box, six-point driver restraint system with removable steering wheel
Radio 10-speaker Bose® 5.1 surround sound system; hard-drive device; AM/FM/RDS4/MP3/ DVD with USB audio connectivity and steering wheel controls and SiriusXM satellite radio Motorola two-way radio with steering wheel-mounted press-to-talk button and single speaker connection to driver ear buds
Racing the Cadillac CTS-V

Richard Prince/Cadillac Racing Photo

Slowing down for Racing the Cadillac CTS-V?

For some series and manufacturers, the race car has to be carefully tuned up to be competitive.  For WCRacing, Cadillac restricts the CTS-V engine output from the 556 hp that the street car makes to 460 hp for the race car.  Yes, when racing the Cadillac CTS-V Cadillac gives up almost 100 hp.

The racing engines are prepared by Katech.  They use the same 6.2L OHV V8 as the street car, but don’t have the supercharger.  As prepared they would make 520 hp, but are restricted to 460 hp for the series.

A big difference from the street car to make up for the power loss is weight.  The race car hits the track at 3,200 lbs plus rewards weight.  The street car weighs 4,222 lbs.  In the World Challenge, winning drivers get rewards weight to add to their car for the next race.  This helps balance the series even further during the season.  You can see the rewards weight each driver is carrying by numbers on the windscreen.

The complete vehicle specification for the racing the Cadillac CTS-V can be found on the World Challenge site here.

Racing the Cadillac CTS-V

Racing the Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac is not afraid to throw down the gauntlet and put their cars on the track.  Racing the Cadillac CTS-V even with the series restrictions can give a very good test ground for engineering improvements in the street cars.    Racing the Cadillac CTS-V is also very entertaining.

Bravo Cadillac!