Lamborghini has re-emerged as a strong candidate for the LMDh formula, with the Italian manufacturer aiming to make a decision “soon” on its involvement that could come as early as 2024.
Despite having remained in the joint ACO and IMSA technical working group meetings, Sportscar365 understands that Lamborghini had initially paused plans last year to build a car to the new-for-2023 regulations.
The prospects of an LMDh program have since been reignited in recent months, bolstered by the return of Stephan Winkelmann as Lamborghini’s CEO.
According to Giorgio Sanna the manufacturer’s head of motorsport, an LMDh program is considered as the “only opportunity” Lamborghini has to expand its efforts in sports car racing.
“The current status is that we are always and still working on the LMDh scenario,” Sanna told Sportscar365.
“We have also changed the top management recently, so we continue to work on the technical and business case side of this opportunity.
“We continue to consider LMDh [as] the best and probably the only opportunity that we could have to go over GT3. I hope we will take soon a decision.”
Despite its proposal to enter LMDh not having initially moved forward, Sanna stressed that Lamborghini has played an active part in helping define the platform with the sanctioning bodies since the start.
IMSA President John Doonan has been quoted in confirming involvement from as many as 16-17 manufacturers at various points in the working group meetings.
“We started working in the technical working group meetings since day one, and we continue to be a part of this technical working group,” Sanna said.
“[It’s] for the simple reason that we strongly believe in the quality and the success of this category.
“Of course, if we are doing it, it’s because we hope that sooner or later we will be part of this category.”
Lamborghini would join fellow Volkswagen brands Audi and Porsche with LMDh offerings, which according to Sanna, doesn’t affect Lamborghini’s decision.
While yet to be confirmed, Porsche is widely believed to be the only Volkswagen manufacturer with a full LMDh factory program, with Audi likely to take a route similar to its current GT3 formula of semi-works or customer teams.
“It’s not a case that there is already a commitment from the Porsche and Audi sides on this new category,” said Sanna. “This means that the group is always looking with interest at new opportunities in motorsport and technical developments.
“So we will take a decision internally, but always sharing any kind of strategy with Volkswagen Group. So we will see.
“From Lamborghini management, of course it’s very important. But it’s even important to share this kind of strategy with the group.”
Targeted Launch in 2024, Customer-Only Program
Sanna stressed that should the green light be given, it would be run as a customer program that would be consistent with its involvement in GT3 and single-make Super Trofeo series.
“Lamborghini is focused on customer racing,” he said. “We have an exclusive portfolio of customers and drivers that are looking with interest at a top-class commitment.
“We have to take care about our new and possible future customers.
“We consider LMDh for the base of the category, the principle of the category, [as] the right one to approach the top category in a customer racing way.”
Sanna admitted that being ready for the launch year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship would currently be a tall order.
“I don’t think that, in case, we could be ready in 2023,” he said. “For us, LMDh is a good step.
“And so, in case of [it] we take all the time needed to prepare ourselves and our teams to do well, as usually we try to do.
“[Lamborghini will] become 60 years old in 2023. So if we waited 60 years to be in the top class, we can also wait [until] 61.”
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report