Proving their commitment to the time tested belief that racing is the ultimate proving ground for the most innovative technology in automobile production, the General Motors Corporation has begun construction on their new state-of-the-art Performance and Racing Center in Pontiac, Michigan. The primary focus of this facility will be race engine design and development, as well as being an electric motor laboratory and gear center.
Steve Kiefer, vice president of GM Global Powertrain said, “The GM Performance and Racing Center, or GMPRC, will continue to develop some of the world’s winningest race engines for Chevrolet and Cadillac; connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers’ powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability and durability. The center will also provide exciting career opportunities for our engineering organization.”
The relocation will centralize GM’s North American powertrain engineering expertise, for production engines and competition racing engines, thus enabling the most gifted individual elements of engine engineering team to work together in a manner that was previously impossible. Key engineers and technicians from GM’s race engineering center in Wixom, Michigan will move into the larger new facility in mid-2015. As one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world, the GMPRC will allow increased collaboration opportunities between racing and production engineers and technicians.The GM Performance and Racing Center will serve as a resource to help our race teams and drivers continue to win races and championships,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It will also help advance technical sharing between racing and production engine programs.”
The relocation will include approximately 100 employees who work in the development of racing powertrains, electric motors, as well as in the gear industry. The new building is expected to be semi-functional by mid-2015 and completed by early 2016.The GMPRC is part of a plan to build a new 138,000 sq.-ft. test wing. In January the company announced that work at four remote locations would consolidate on the Pontiac campus, helping to reduce development timing for GM’s next-generation advanced propulsion technologies. When the moves are complete, about 400 jobs will be added to the Pontiac campus.
Despite the unprecedented past success of GM high-performance engines and powertrain components in racing, work at the GMPRC will include powertrain related projects for General Motor’s investments in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the Verizon IndyCar Series, the TUDOR SportsCar Championship, the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Pirelli World Challenge, NHRA (COPO Camaro Program), and the Global Rally Cross.
The Chevrolet Corvette Racing Teams and Team Cadillac have experienced more than their fair share of success. Since its inception in 1999, Corvette has won 10 manufacturer titles in GT Competition and 92 global wins, including seven class wins in the 24-hours of Le Mans. Team Cadillac has amassed 24 wins, 82 podium finishes, and 20 pole position wins since 2004, as well as four World Challenge Manufacturer Championships (2005, 2006, 2012, and 2013). In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, alone, Chevrolet has captured the Manufacturer’s Crown an astounding 37-times (including the last 11-years running). They also lead all manufacturers in NASCAR Sprint Cup wins with 722 victories. Since returning to the IndyCar Series (as an engine manufacturer) in 2012, Chevrolet has won 23 of 37 races and the IndyCar Championship in 2012 and 2013.