By on December 6, 2016

Cadillac DPi-V.R race car

Automotive athletes tend to age a little better other sports figures. While Formula 1 drivers tend to be a little younger, the average NASCAR driver is in their late thirties. That means racing retirement can be delayed well-past the comparative norm for an Olympic boxer or linebacker in the NFL.

However, every sport seems to share the common theme of athletes’ complete inability to remain retired after making a public announcement that they were packing it in. 

Jeff Gordon, now 45, is stock car royalty. He is a four-time Sprint Cup champion, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, and has participated in more consecutive races than any other driver in NASCAR history. So, when he announced that 2015 was to be his last season as a full-time racing driver, we collectively understood that he had earned the respite.

The self-imposed retirement was short lived.

Gordon immediately volunteered to substitute for Dale Earnhardt Jr. after a June crash at the Michigan International Speedway left him with a severe concussion. Doctors eventually decided that Earnhardt should return for the 2017 season, leaving Jeff to split duties with Alex Bowman for the remainder of this year. Gordon said that he would happily assist Hendrick Motorsports for “as long as they need me.”

However Hendrick will have to do without him on January 28th and 29th, because he’ll be competing in the Rolex 24 after a 10-year absence. Having previously taken third at the 24-hour endurance event in 2007, Gordon seems keen to rejoin the Wayne Taylor Racing team while continuing his farcical retirement.

“I really enjoyed racing in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2007 with Max, Wayne and Jan,” Gordon said in a statement. “When I announced I would no longer be competing full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, my hope was that I would get an opportunity like this to compete again in such a prestigious event – with Konica Minolta and Wayne Taylor Racing – with the hopes of winning it this time. I know that Ricky and Jordan are super-fast, and I believe it will be a very strong combination.”

In addition to Wayne Taylor’s sons, Gordon will also be sharing the brand new No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R with endurance veteran Max Angelelli. “I think it is exceptional to have Jeff back with us after 10 years,” said Angelelli, a man who actually retired from full-time driving in 2014.

The 55th Rolex 24 is scheduled to begin on January 28, with the annual Roar Before the 24 testing set for three weeks prior at the Daytona International Speedway.

Meanwhile, Jeff Gordon’s racing career was scheduled to wind down last year.

[Image: Cadillac]

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22 Comments on “Jeff Gordon, Clearly Suffering from a Racing Addiction, Plans 24 Hours with a Cadillac...”


  • avatar
    NoID

    I was excited to hear Cadillac was returning to the Prototype series, and now to find out Jeff Gordon will be one of the wheelmen for the program at Daytona is icing on the cake.

    That said, the man grew up dreaming of running open wheel cars. I think he would be doing a disservice to himself if he failed to run at least one Indy 500 during his retirement.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Yes, MOAR OF THIS.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Hey, he retired from NA$CAR – not from life. I’d like to see him run in other races, too – Le Mans, for one. It would be nice to see more versatile drivers like Foyt and Gurney.

  • avatar
    John

    NASCAR + edgy urban hipster coffee shops = Cadillac’s coherent vision of their target demographic.

  • avatar
    SirRaoulDuke

    It’s not like Gordon retired because he ran out of talent.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    STAFF: Sir, why must we spend 68% of the R&D budget on the DPi-V.R?
    JdN: Because zee Americans love race cars and because ist uber cool.
    STAFF: Shouldn’t we spend more money improving our actual lineup?
    JdN: Pish posh, zee models are fine!

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I’m guessing then that you don’t realize the car is a Dallara LMP2 chassis with some different pieces added. It’s mostly an engine development project for Cadillac.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Why are they using a Chevrolet engine then?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Because for all the empty rhetoric oozing out of Johan’s piehole (and Uwe’s pinhole, or any other incompetent piehole at Cadillac or GM), neither Cadillac “luxury” division nor Cadillac Racing has any tangible thing distinct from other GM brands, be it the 2.0T, 3.6 liter, 6.2 liter (used in Escalades and this Cadillac DPi-V.R), suspension systems, chassis’ (think Alpha Camaro and ATS or Tahoe, Suburban & Escalade, or Chevy Impala & XTS, or Equinox & XT5).

          #DareWeakly

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          It’s a GM V8, which marque you want to assign it to is up to you. It is a different engine from the one that they used in the “Corvette” DP car.

          http://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/news/a31697/cadillac-dpi-v-r-exclusive-photos/

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I did not realize this, but in taking a swing at a favorite piñata I learned something and I thank you.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/6709/Cadillac-DPi-V.R.html:

    “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 design details giving the DPi-V.R car its distinctive Cadillac appearance and presence include the vertical lighting signature; the sheer, sculptural quality of the body and bold bodyside feature line; V-Performance wheels with Brembo brakes; V-Performance emblems; and a canopy graphic inspired by the Cadillac daylight opening. Even subtle cues such as the cooling vents and the air intake were designed in the studio, the latter in the trapezoidal shape of the Cadillac crest.

    ————————————————————————-

    I love how Cadillac’s styling “contribution” to the effort is rendered irrelevant by mere camouflage paint.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    “he announced that 2015 was to be his last season as a FULL-TIME racing driver” does not equal “retired” (emphasis mine).

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Running the enduros as a third or fourth driver is a good thing for someone like Jeff to do. Racecraft is more important that pure pace, and there are only four of them on the schedule, so it’s not nearly the grind that NASCAR would be.

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