After 11 seasons of competition, Cadillac is ending its Pirelli World Challenge program. that Cadillac announced the program's termination today and that the manufacturer is open to returning to the series in the future. Cadillac didn't provide a specific reason why it's pulling out of the series.
The program was largely successful for Cadillac. In its 11 seasons in World Challenge, Cadillac has taken home seven driver's championships, five manufacturer's championships, and 33 wins. This year drivers Michael Cooper and Jordan Taylor won the Sprint-X championship and came second overall in the manufacturer's championship.
Cadillac has campaigned the GT3-spec ATS-V.R in the series since 2015, and the program's end means the car will be retired. Sportscar365 reports that Cadillac won't sell any ATS-V.Rs to customer teams, and if it were to reenter World Challenge after 2018, it would do so with a new car. Both the ATS and its bigger brother, the CTS, will be replaced by a single model, the CT5, for the 2019 model year.
The cancellation of its World Challenge program isn't bad news for Cadillac's wildly successful IMSA DPi effort, though. In fact, Cadillac will focus all of its motorsport efforts on IMSA next year, where it'll face new, potentially stiff opposition in the face of Acura/Team Penske, and Mazda's reworked Prototype effort with Team Joest.
Cadillac's World Challenge program will be missed, as it featured some of the greatest names in US sports car racing. The effort was run by Pratt & Miller, which runs Chevy's factory Corvette C7.R program, and employed great drivers like Johnny O'Connell, Andy Pilgirm, Ron Fellows, and others.
Cadillac will most likely build a V version of the upcoming CT5, so it'll eventually have a new model to take sports-car racing. Let's hope it does.
This is the Cadillac that will keep racing