Lamborghini has revealed ambitions of launching a top-level prototype program, either in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship or FIA World Endurance Championship under the series’ respective new-generation regulations.
Sportscar365 has learned that the Italian manufacturer has been involved in talks with both IMSA on its so-called DPi 2.0 platform, as well as the FIA and ACO with the recently confirmed ‘Hypercar’ formula, although discussions are still at exploratory levels.
According to Lamborghini motorsport boss Giorgio Sanna, such a program would not come until 2022 at the earliest, and as of now, would largely be customer-focused.
“We always have strong desires to face new challenges,” Sanna told Sportscar365. “If we talk about DPi or Hypercar or other top categories, there are challenges that we love.
“A few years ago, we had the wish to compete in GT3 at a high level. It’s what we’ve done with success.
“Now we have different wishes and targets, so we’ll see what will be possible to do.”
Sanna said he considers DPi 2.0 and Hypercar to both be “interesting scenarios” for the luxury high performance brand, although he’s waiting on further clarity from the FIA and ACO on the projected costs of a Hypercar program.
A targeted annual budget of €20-25 million ($22-28 million) was documented by the FIA in December, although Sportscar365 understands that figure has risen significantly in recent months.
It’s understood that current DPi manufacturer budgets are under $10 million, with a platform which Sanna said is currently working “very, very well” with “solid technical regulations and very good exposure.”
He confirmed Lamborghini is involved in IMSA’s steering committee meetings that will help shape the next-gen regulations.
“DPi will be something that will happen in 2022, so we have time in front of us,” he said. “It would be good timing for us.
“We have two or three years in front of us to where we have to work and consolidate the existing platforms we have in Super Trofeo and GT3, which is giving us many benefits.
“But in the meantime, it’s also the right time to [be] ready for the next few years in a top-level category.
“This is the wish. Then we have to see if there are all of the ingredients to make it possible.”
Sanna said they are not currently considering a full factory operation but instead a customer-based program run by top-level teams.
It’s understood Lamborghini has already had preliminary discussions with at least one existing championship-winning IMSA team.
“To this day, Lamborghini is involved in customer racing programs,” Sanna said. “So we are not looking, at the moment, for a factory program effort like what is LMP1 today.
“In DPi it would be possible to do it [with customers]. We already have a good example [in Cadillac]. We would like to make it as a customer racing program.
“But we’re talking about a top-level category, so therefore as a manufacturer, the customer teams have to be on the same level of the championship.”
“Very Difficult” to Undertake Dual WEC/IMSA Program
Sanna has essentially ruled out being represented in both DPi and Hypercar due to the divergence in regulations between the two platforms.
“Many things are possible but everything has a cost,” he said.
“And independent from the cost, this is something we have to share with the board of the company to understand the way the company is going.
“Because we’re talking about a program that would have an impact on the next five years.
“Also from the marketing point of view, from the product positioning point of view, everything has to be shared with the company.
“At the end, motorsport is a technology and marketing tool for the company. So we have to do what the company expects that is best to do.”
Sanna said they plan to spend the next 12 months exploring options before coming to a final decision.
Should a DPi or Hypercar program be green-lighted, it would mark the first top-level prototype effort for Lamborghini since the ill-fated and short-lived customer engine deal with Konrad Motorsport in the 1991 World Sportscar Championship.