Audi plans to support both factory and customer teams with its new LMDh project, taking an approach similar to its ultra-successful GT3 program for its return to top-level prototype racing in 2023.
The German manufacturer, which announced last month that it was “intensively “preparing” for a LMDh program with the new joint ACO-IMSA platform, has provided additional details to Sportscar365 on the current state of the program from incoming motorsport boss Julius Seebach.
While having been one of the manufacturers involved in roundtable meetings for the new formula, LMDh and other parts of Audi’s new motorsport strategy were formally approved by its board of management in November.
“We are currently at the very beginning of development and are evaluating various concepts,” Seebach told Sportscar365.
“It is clear that we have a strong interest in the success of the new LMDh category.”
When asked what level of commitment Audi is targeting for the project, Seebach said that both factory and customer operations are planned.
A number of Audi-supported GT3 customer teams, including Phoenix Racing and WRT, have shown interest in LMDh and are currently working on LMP2 programs for next year to help accelerate development for a potential entries in the top class.
“We are planning entries on a factory level, but we also want to supply customer teams,” Seebach said. “It is important for us to be able to fight for overall victories.”
Seebach confirmed that the race program is set to come online in 2023, as Audi has shown its desire to be there “from the very beginning” of the LMDh era, although a final decision on its chassis constructor has not yet been made.
Dallara, one of the four approved constructors for LMDh and the next generation LMP2 cars, has been part of Audi’s prototype programs in the past and had been considered to be linked to LMDh effort as well.
Seebach also said they will announce “in due course” whether it’s their intention to race full-time in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.
Audi’s announcement last month specifically listed both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Rolex 24 at Daytona as races it would be contesting but did not go into detail on an exact plan.