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High Class Setting Sights on LMDh Program

High Class Racing aiming for expansion into top class with customer-based LMDh program…

Photo: High Class Racing

High Class Racing is “already working” on a plan to join the LMDh top formula of sports car racing, according to team principal Peter Utoft.

The Danish squad, which currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series LMP2 categories with Oreca 07 Gibsons, has expressed a clear interest in the new global prototype platform.

Utoft told Sportscar365 that the team has been lining up talks with prospective LMDh car brands in a bid to expand its racing program to the leading prototype class. 

“We’re already working on it,” he said.

“We have a lot of meetings planned around Sebring [next month] with different manufacturers about it. We have several options.

“I have a lot of contacts within the industry from my past. I was team manager for Volkswagen for ten years, I know everyone there, but also there’s a lot of companies. 

“There are more car manufacturers that could be interested in branding their cars. You can always take a Gibson or AER engine and brand the car and make it fit with the rules. These are all possibilities.

“I see ourselves to become a customer where we maybe get some support from the manufacturer, maybe the engines and aero, and we buy the car and pay the running costs.

“It would be a dream to become a factory team but that can also give us a lot of frustrations. Having worked on the other side of the table, I know how it is.”

High Class appears to have multiple options for which manufacturer it sides with for a customer program, while it has no clear preference on which LMDh base chassis it runs.

ORECA, Multimatic, Ligier and Dallara – which High Class previously sided with in LMP2 before its shift to ORECA in 2019 – will build the original chassis on which all manufacturer-styled LMDh cars will be based.

“We have been working with all three of the European [chassis] manufacturers,” said Utoft.

“Multimatic, we don’t really know about, so I would think it would be one of those three.

“We’re working to collaborate with a manufacturer on it and we’re going full attack on it. That is our aim to do it.

“It will be open to everyone [in terms of manufacturers] but obviously you go with the people you know.”

Utoft reckons that manufacturers and teams won’t be ready to start confirming LMDh programs until closer to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

Technical details of the formula are slated to be presented at Sebring next month, but it’s understood that no formal announcements from prospective entrants are set to be made.

“I think it will be around Le Mans when we will have some announcements,” suggested Utoft.

“But that’s not saying the motorsport departments are not working on the projects. It costs no money to start the project on paper.

“It first starts costing money when you start building things. 

“The four [constructors] have to develop the basic car. Then you have to make the facelift. The last thing is doing tests.

“After Sebring, all of the motorsport departments have to go home and have to put it in front of their boards and make a decision.

“Nobody will make a decision until they know what [the ACO and IMSA] are deciding on.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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