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Hyundai Closing In on LMDh Decision

Decision pending for Hyundai with Genesis-badged LMDh car for 2026…

Image: IMSA

Hyundai has emerged as a likely candidate to join the top-class prototype ranks of the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the South Korean automaker understood to be nearing a program decision.

Multiple industry sources have revealed to Sportscar365 that the the manufacturer, which would likely run under the luxury Genesis brand in North America, could debut as early as the 2026 WEC and WeatherTech Championship seasons with a LMDh car.

Chip Ganassi Racing, which will part ways with Cadillac at the end of this year, is understood to be the leading team to land the factory contract for the WeatherTech Championship at a minimum.

Hyundai Motorsport team principal Cyril Abiteboul is known to have attended this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, and according to a report from Auto Motor und Sport, held meetings with the ACO.

Additionally, the German publication reports that the manufacturer would likely partner with either Dallara or ORECA on the chassis front, with Pipo Moteurs to supply the engine.

Rumors of Hyundai entering the LMDh ranks date back to as early as 2020 when the joint ACO-IMSA platform was announced, with championship-winning TCR operation Bryan Herta Autosport having initially been positioned for the program with a ramping up of senior-level technical and operational staff that are no longer with the team.

It’s believed that the FIA, ACO and IMSA’s decision to extend the Hypercar and GTP class regulations for an additional two years through the 2029 seasons has been one of the driving forces for Hyundai re-evaluating entries into top-class prototype competition.

IMSA President John Doonan told Sportscar365 last weekend at Watkins Glen that he was aware of “several” new manufacturers that have entered talks for LMDh programs in recent weeks.

Hyundai/Genesis would join Acura, Alpine, BMW, Cadillac, Lamborghini and Porsche with prototypes built to LMDh regulations, alongside currently active LMH models from Ferrari, Isotta Fraschini, Peugeot, and beginning next year, Aston Martin.

A timeline for a final decision or program announcement from Hyundai is unclear at this stage.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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