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Caldarelli Eyeing 2023 LMP2 Drive Ahead of Lambo LMDh

Lamborghini ace Andrea Caldarelli could contest LMP2 races to prepare for LMDh effort…

Photo: SRO/Kevin Pecks

Andrea Caldarelli has indicated that he could compete in LMP2 next year in order to prepare for Lamborghini’s LMDh debut in 2024.

The Italian was recently named as the first of two drivers for the Italian manufacturer’s LMDh effort, along with fellow factory driver Mirko Bortolotti.

While Bortolotti made his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut with Team WRT this year in LMP2, Caldarelli has not raced a prototype since transitioning away from single-seaters in 2012.

Notably, he was affiliated with Toyota as a test driver during the first years of the Japanese manufacturer’s FIA World Endurance Championship program, but did not race there.

His link to Toyota did, however, result in multiple years of racing high downforce GT500 cars in Super GT.

Now with a transition to top-level prototype racing on the horizon, the 32-year-old indicated that some form of LMP2 program could be on the cards next year.

“That is definitely something that we are looking [at] together with Lamborghini on how to approach 2024,” Caldarelli said.

“I had a bit of experience in 2012 and 2013 with Toyota when they started the hybrid program in WEC, when I was test driver.

“But I think the reason why I am not really concerned is my career in Japan doing Super GT helped me a lot with these kinds of cars.

“I know they are different, but the same time speed wise they are very, very close.

“It is just a matter of getting back that driving style from my past.”

Caldarelli would not go into details on which series he would in, saying he would be open to both WEC and the European Le Mans Series but has no particular preference.

To be fair, it is not so important what kind of championship I do but it is more about getting back into the driving style of a prototype,” he noted.

While he’s hopeful of a potential full-season effort in prototype racing, Caldarelli recognized that it would need to be combined with both LMDh development duties and involvement with the first season for the new-for-2023 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2.

“We know that it would be very nice if I could do a full season with a prototype, that’s for sure,” he said.

“But at the same time, I know that I have some duties with the new GT3 Evo2 so we need to see, calendar-wise, what my program will be next year.

“That is why we need to see carefully about the program and the calendar because I can not do three programs.”

A Le Mans debut is also high on Caldarelli’s wish list, potentially allowing him to follow in Bortolotti’s footsteps.

“That definitely would be good and that is something that I would love to do,” he spoke of Le Mans.

“I have been there in 2020 when we won Road to Le Mans with Lamborghini and FFF and I really enjoyed racing there, even if it was only for three days. That was always one of my career targets.”

Bortolotti Focused On LMDh Development, GT Racing

While Caldarelli indicated he could contest LMP2 races, fellow future LMDh driver Bortolotti suggested that more prototype racing is not high on his list of priorities.

The plan is to be racing in GT next year on the international level and parallel the development of the prototype,” he said.

With the introduction of the updated GT3 car, Bortolotti said it was unlikely that he will scale back his GT activities for more prototype racing: “I don’t think so. As we know the LMDh program will start in 2024. Next year, we will have our new GT3 car coming.

“In terms of schedules, it will be a really similar program to what we are used to in GT.

“The main program is the GT3 program next year and the development of the prototype.

“If there is a chance to go to Le Mans next year, I will be more than happy to take it because it has been a great experience.

“I loved it but I can not say that there is something on the table at the moment.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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