Pops’ Rants: The Booming SUV Market Is Ruining Racing and it Pisses Me Off!
Make it stop, make it stop!by Pops, on
I don’t know about you, but I love spending the weekend watching some serious racing. Be it turn-left-all-day NASCAR or proper track chasing; I dig just about any motorsport league out there. Yeah, including Formula E, which can be surprisingly spectacular. I also enjoy the Pirelli World Challenge quite a lot, mostly because it features race cars that are closely related to production vehicles. Unfortunately, this competition won’t be the same next year, and it’s all because of the damn SUV craze that’s been going on for a few years.
Nope, I’m not senile just yet. It may seem weird for the SUV market to influence motorsport, but it can happen. In this case, Cadillac’s desire to build more and more crossovers instead of cars is putting an end to its successful run in the Pirelli World Challenge. And it’s not that Cadillac simply decided to call it a day and focus on its DPi program, the ATS-V.R is being discontinued as its road-going counterpart is getting dropped from the lineup in 2019. A rather harsh decision if you ask me, and it’s essentially why I’m pretty mad about it. And why I hate crossovers and SUVs even more.
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The End of an Amazing Effort. And for What?
The ATS and CTS are the only production Cadillacs that made it onto the race track
Cadillac says it’s retiring from the Pirelli World Challenge to focus on its IMSA DPi campaign, where the carmaker has already won the championship in its maiden season. But this isn’t the only reason. The company’s current model strategy is programmed to axe both the ATS and CTS in 2019, and replace them with one model called the CT5. As you may know, the ATS and CTS are the only production Cadillacs that made it onto the race track.
The CTS-V made its debut as early as 2004, winning the title in 2005 and 2007, while the second-generation CTS-V Coupe stepped in as a replacement in 2011. It won two more championships in 2012 and 2013 before it was replaced by the ATS-V.R for the 2015 season. The smaller car debuted with a win in 2015, but missed the championship in the following two seasons, even though it finished second and third in the drivers’ standings.
In all, these two cars took part in 332 races, scored 25 pole positions, and won 33 events. On top of the seven manufacturers’ championships, they also claimed five drivers’ titles. All of them in 13 years. The CTS-V.R and ATS-V.R are by far the most successful race cars Cadillac has ever built. So you can see why I’m pissed off that the ATS-V.R is being retired.
The ATS-V.R should have lived on. Its achievements deserve another two seasons on the racetrack
But it’s not just Cadillac’s strategy to replace the ATS and CTS with a single model so it can launch more SUVs. The replacement is set to take place in 2019, so the ATS-V.R might have had another two seasons in the Pirelli World Challenge. And while I can understand that Cadillac wants to focus on DPi racing, for now, it should at least offer the ATS-V.R to private teams. More upsetting is the fact that the Pirelli World Challenge program is being dropped for IMSA, a championship that sees many rule changes each year and a lot of teams and carmakers choose to retire because of them. So while Cadillac is very excited about IMSA DPi right now, there’s no telling how long it will last.
Just look at Porsche, which joined the FIA World Endurance Championship only a few years ago, has a very competitive 919 Hybrid race car, and it’s looking to retire at the end of the year. The same could happen with Cadillac. Sooner than we might imagine. The ATS-V.R should have lived on. Its achievements deserve another two seasons on the race track. But Cadillac doesn’t agree. Because money. I’m so disappointed I can’t even joke about it...
I think I got one.
What does it take to bring an Escalade to the track and race it? Nothing, yo mamma is so fat that when she... oh wait. Wrong joke. Oh well, let’s just say that the Escalade sucks!
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