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Lamborghini to Start With Single Car Entries in Hypercar, GTP

Lamborghini to run single LMDh cars in WEC, IMSA next year before evaluating more…

Image: Lamborghini

Lamborghini will focus on single-car entries for the first season of its LMDh program in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup next year.

The Italian manufacturer’s head of motorsport Giorgio Sanna told Sportscar365 at Daytona last weekend that a gradual approach will be taken to the car’s introduction.

He also stated that the plan is to add a second Hypercar entry for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as fielding two cars in the GTP class of the 2025 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Lamborghini is working with Ligier to develop its first top-level sports prototype, which will be run by an official team created jointly by the factory and Iron Lynx.

“For sure it will be one car in 2024, and two cars in Le Mans,” Sanna said, while also confirming a single-car IMSA Endurance Cup effort.

“It’s a matter of capability and effort. It’s the first experience for us in a prototype category and the debut of the manufacturer.

“To be more conservative and have more focus on the development of the car and learning process, it’s better to start with one car.

“Then we will evaluate if, and when, it will be possible to have a second car entering.”

Lamborghini aims to have its LMDh car homologated by the end of this year. It is unclear precisely when it will make its race debut, with Sanna only projecting a first-quarter appearance at this stage.

“The timing is to start running from the beginning of the summer,” he said.

“Our target is to homologate the car within the end of 2023. Then we will evaluate step-by-step when the debut will be. In any case, it is in our forecast for the first quarter of 2024.

“We will see based on the results of the development phase with the car.

“We have already done several test sessions in the wind tunnel, as we are working very hard on the simulator. Everything is moving in the right way.

“We will start to test in Europe at the beginning of the summer, and then we will have another test car to test in America at the end of the summer. We will go in parallel with the development of the car for the IMSA and WEC programs.”

Sanna left open the possibility for Lamborghini to make its WEC debut at the 2024 season-opener in Qatar. The date for the Qatar race hasn’t been confirmed, although series management figures have indicated that it could be in late February or early March.

“The target is to start in the first quarter, which means February or March,” Sanna reiterated.

“We will see. It depends on the results of testing sessions. When we are around September or October, we will have a better understanding on the possible debut.”

Lamborghini has so far announced three drivers – Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Romain Grosjean – as official members of the LMDh project.

But Sanna stated that the race lineups for WEC and IMSA are yet to be announced.

“Regarding the drivers, we will move step-by-step,” he said. “By the end of this year, of course it will be clear the driver lineups for both programs.”

Sanna added that it will be “fundamental” for Lamborghini Squadra Corse – the manufacturer’s racing department – to engage all of its factory drivers in the LMDh development process.

Lamborghini’s lineup for 2022 consists of Bortolotti, Caldarelli, Grosjean, Marco Mapelli, Sandy Mitchell, Jordan Pepper, Franck Perera and Leonardo Pulcini.

At this stage of the program, the drivers are waiting for the car to be ready for its first shakedown.

“We have been working with all the things we can do at this stage of development,” Bortolotti told Sportscar365.

“We’ve all had quite busy schedules last year, so we were focused on that. The development keeps going on. There is not much more going on other than the things that you can decide or put forward that are not on-track stuff.

“We’re talking about topics like the cockpit design and these kinds of things. We bring that forward, step by step, and hope the car will be ready as soon as possible.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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