Iron Lynx is “trying to catch up quickly” as it prepares for its first race with Lamborghini according to team principal Andrea Piccini, who says that “everything is new” for the Italian team.
Former Ferrari squad Iron Lynx shifted its GT3 program to rival manufacturer Lamborghini this year, as part of a deal to run the company’s LMDh car in 2024.
Its first race with the new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 — this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona – is also its first appearance in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Iron Lynx shipped a pair of new EVO2s to the U.S. in late November, while back in Europe it ran two older Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos at Paul Ricard so that some of its mechanics and engineers could discover the car.
As it waited for its new EVO2s to arrive in early January, the team used a factory-owned car to participate in an IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway last month.
The team is running three cars at the Rolex 24, including one in GTD Pro for Lamborghini factory drivers Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli, Jordan Pepper and Romain Grosjean.
“It was a good occasion to do a bit of debugging of the car,” Piccini said of the first test.
“At the same time, we need to learn [about] all the American work. There are no [garages] in the pits: you need to build everything and get all the equipment.
“It’s not been the easiest thing to start from scratch with three new cars and a new experience. Everything is new for us, from the championship to the organization to the cars. We are trying to catch up quickly.”
Although the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 is newly homologated, it is upgraded from the Huracan GT3 Evo rather than being introduced as a brand-new car.
According to Piccini, this means that Iron Lynx is “sorted” from a basic preparation standpoint, although it has yet to explore the finer details of the car’s setup.
“Having such a tight cooperation with Lamborghini, we have all the information we need to run the cars,” he said.
“Setup-wise, it’s the same as before. There are some new parts and electronics, the airbox and we have a single restrictor now. But it’s an upgrade of the car. It’s not like Ferrari coming in with a brand-new car.
“Setup-wise we are sorted, starting from a well-known base. From there, we will try to implement and move on. The car is a bit easier to work than the Ferrari [488 GT3]… less complex, I would say.
“Our boys had the chance to build the car from scratch. We built it how we wanted, with all the systems we like to put on the car. Despite the tight timing, we managed to prepare the car in the best possible way.”
The No. 63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini qualified sixth in the GTD Pro class for the Rolex 24, while the Nos. 83 and 19 cars are due to start from ninth and 14th in GTD.
Piccini suggested it would be “optimistic” to assess the pre-race competitiveness of the factory-driven GTD Pro car based on the team’s inexperience with the Lamborghini and concerns over its BoP against older GT3 cars in the field.
“It’s a bit difficult to answer because everything is new here for us,” he said.
“Since the test we did in December, we struggled a bit to understand how the BoP is managed. At the moment, we can’t say we’re happy with what we’ve got.
“We are still learning the cars. It would have been ideal to do a bit more running, but that’s what we have.
“At the Roar, we didn’t work on fine-tuning the setup, but on making everything work and fitting together things like the radio system and telemetry.
“We made sure all the systems are working. There are still some little issues to fix, but we are optimistic to make it work.
“From today, we will be able to start working on the setup of the cars.”