Catching up with Cadillac’s Mike O’Gara

At the 6 Hours of Spa, we had the chance to speak to Cadillac’s Mike O’Gara, Team Manager of Operations at Chip Ganassi Racing, who is responsible for the US manufacturer’s WEC programme.

WM: The LMDh platform is aimed at making it simple to enter a car in both the WEC and IMSA. Are there any differences between the Cadillac V Series.R that races in the WEC and the car competing in IMSA?

MG: Mechanically the two cars are identical – suspension, transmission and all other parts are identical. There are small differences between the IMSA and WEC cars in aerodynamics, as different wind tunnels are used to homologate the car in the two series. The shape of the bodywork and the car’s electronics are also largely the same. The biggest difference is in the electrical systems required in the cars – the lights and sensors required for the telemetry measurements in the WEC aren’t the same as the ones used in IMSA.

Cadillac #2
The blue Cadillac #2

WM: So the cars are almost identical from technical perspective. So the Cadillacs racing in Spa and Le Mans are just adapted versions of the IMSA cars?

MG: Essentially yes. The blue and yellow cars originally competed in Daytona as IMSA. After that race we brough them to Europe, changed the number from 02 to 2, swapped the necessary electrical systems and that was it.

WM: What is the future of the two cars? Will they be returning to IMSA in 2023 after Le Mans?

MG: The blue car (#2) will stay in the WEC and compete in the rest of the season, in all of the races. The yellow car will be in Le Mans and then stay in Europe as a replacement car for the WEC team in case something happens to the blue car. We will also be competing one car in IMSA for the remainder of 2023.