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Cadillac reveals DPi car ahead of IMSA comeback in 2017

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Cadillac has revealed its new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car ahead of its return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017.

Cadillac will return to the premier class of an IMSA-sanctioned series in 2017 after 14 years away, supplying cars to Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing.

The American manufacturer revealed renders of its new DPi car on Wednesday as the countdown continues until its race debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

Here is the release in full from IMSA.

“Cadillac is proud to return to the pinnacle of prototype racing in North America after a 14-year absence.”

Those were the words used by Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen to confirm that three Cadillac Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race cars will compete in the full 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype (P) class, beginning with the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2017. The new car will be known as the Cadillac DPi-V.R and is the first prototype race car from the New York-headquartered manufacturer since 2002.

“It is not possible to overstate how thrilled all of us at IMSA are to officially welcome Cadillac, one of the world’s most respected premium automotive brands, back to Prototype racing in the WeatherTech Championship,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “This is exactly the type of program we had in mind when we announced the Daytona Prototype international concept last year.

“As we open a new era of Prototype competition in 2017, we now have three benchmark examples of manufacturers using this platform to showcase their impressive and unique technology at the highest level. We cannot wait to get the new era underway in just a few short weeks at Daytona.”

The manufacturer confirmed that Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing each will field Cadillac DPi-V.R machines next season. Action Express, which has won the last three WeatherTech Championship Prototype titles, will have a pair of Cadillacs, while the Wayne Taylor Racing team continues its longstanding relationship with General Motors through a one-car effort.

“Cadillac’s V-Performance production models — the ATS-V and CTS-V — are transforming our brand’s product substance, earning a place among the world’s elite high performance marques,” de Nysschen said. “The Cadillac DPi-V.R further strengthens our V-Performance portfolio, placing Cadillac into the highest series of sports car racing in North America.”

The Cadillac DPi-V.R will be powered by a normally aspirated, 6.2-liter Cadillac V-8 engine, which shares inherent architecture with engines that power the third-generation Cadillac CTS-V and fifth-generation Cadillac Escalade production vehicles. The chassis for the Cadillac DPi-V.R was designed in cooperation with Dallara with styling cues inspired by Cadillac’s current line of V-Performance high-performance production models, specifically the Cadillac CTS-V.

“The DPi-V.R race car was an exciting new canvas for the Cadillac design and sculpting team,” said Andrew Smith, Global Cadillac Design executive director. “The studio embraced the opportunity to interpret the Cadillac form language, line work and graphic signature for this premier prototype racing application. Every detail of the final design was selected to support the car’s on-track performance and unmistakable Cadillac presence.”

The new Cadillac DPi-V.R will make its public on-track debut during a two-day IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway on Dec. 13-14.

Cadillac joins Mazda and Nissan as confirmed DPi manufacturers for IMSA’s top Prototype class, which also will include international LM P2 prototype chassis from Riley/Multimatic, Ligier, ORECA and Dallara, powered by single-specification Gibson V8 engines.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”