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GM reveals new global motorsport policy

GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION, the world's biggest car manufacturer, last week revealed plans for a new motorsport strategy which will focus the company's worldwide expertise to help the individual brands increase their sales in different markets. This will include not only the transfer of technology but also expertise in engineering and marketing.

The company's general manager of brand marketing John Middlebrook revealed the new "GM Racing" strategy and underlined the company's long-term commitment to the sport and a new "unified global approach to racing".

Middlebrook confirmed the plans to race with both the Cadillac and Chevrolet brands at Le Mans in 2000, unveiling the Cadillac Northstar LMP and Chevrolet Corvette C5-R sportscars which will take part in the classic endurance race in France next year. He also revealed a new Opel Astra V8 coupe, which will race in the new German Touring Car series. This has an engine from the same family as those which will be used by the Cadillac Northstar LMP and in the Oldsmobile Indy Racing╩League program.

Middlebrook said that the Cadillac Le Mans program aims to transform Cadillac from being a "decidedly American brand for Americans" into "an American-inspired brand with global credibility."

There has been considerable speculation that GM is considering a Formula 1 program in the years ahead. The rumors were given added credibility when Herb Fishel, the head of GM motorsport, turned up in the paddock at the Belgian╩Grand╩Prix.

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