General Motors Co., which emerged from bankruptcy 17 months ago, says today its Cadillac luxury division will return to racing next year in the Sports Car Club of America World Challenge.

GM competed in SCCA, North America’s top production-based racing series, from 2004 to 2007 with the Cadillac CTS-V Sports Sedan. The team won a manufacturer’s championship in 2005 and a driver’s title in 2007.

This time, Cadillac will field a pair of CTS-V Coupes in the challenge.

“Returning to racing in the SCCA World Challenge is a great way to demonstrate the performance and capability of the CTS-V Coupe,” Don Butler, vice president-marketing at Cadillac, says in a statement.

“The race cars in this series are production based, which allows us to validate our performance against the best of our competitors on the track, and not just the showroom,” he says.

Since Cadillac exited SCCA in 2007, the CTS line has been redesigned from stem to stern, including the addition of a 556-hp supercharged V-8 engine.

However, GM also went through bankruptcy last year and jettisoned four brands. The auto maker’s executives say there’s more marketing money now with fewer mouths to feed and have promised to get more aggressive promoting the remaining four divisions.

Last month, Cadillac became the title sponsor of professional golf’s annual event at the Doral Resort in Florida, as well as umbrella sponsor of the tour’s World Golf Championships tournament.

Also last month, Chevrolet announced its return to IndyCar racing in 2012 with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injection V-6 racing engine.

Chevrolet previously competed in open-wheel racing as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines. It won 104 races, six driver champions, and seven Indianapolis 500 victories over the period.

Team Penske will race with the Chevy engine, developed jointly by GM and Ilmor Engineering.

Cadillac will team with Pratt & Miller, a Michigan-based race engineering house to develop the CTS Coupes for the track. Pratt & Miller also is the firm behind the Chevy Corvette’s successful LeMans racing series run over the last decade.

The first event for Cadillac will be March 25-27 in St. Petersburg, FL. Veteran drivers Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim will pilot the cars.