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Manufacturers Respond to LMDh Developments

Current DPi prototype manufacturers and the FIA voice their responses to LMDh developments…

Photo: Barry Cantrell/IMSA

Several of sports car racing’s leading manufacturers have voiced responses to the recent announcement of preliminary technical details for the global LMDh platform.

As expected, most OEMs have said that they will review the regulations when they come out in full later this year before making any commitments to the new prototype class.

Porsche was the first to show an interest with the German marque’s head of motorsport Fritz Enzinger quickly confirming the start of a concept study into a possible program.

Le Mans Hypercar entrant Toyota also praised the developments and suggested that it won’t need to radically alter its vehicle’s design despite the new power and weight targets, while Ferrari declined to provide a statement when approached by Sportscar365.

Of the three current IMSA DPi manufacturers, General Motors and Mazda issued responses to Thursday’s announcement while Acura program operator Honda Performance Development has kept tight-lipped.

“We appreciate receiving the draft LMDh regulations,” said GM racing director Mark Kent, whose Cadillac brand has won two of the three IMSA DPi championships held to date.

“We are reviewing these regulations and will provide our feedback, as requested, to IMSA and the ACO.”

Mazda Motorsports director Nelson Cosgrove explained that his party would review the available rules before making a decision based on what is in the final regulations.

“We have been honored to be a part of the process and participate in the technical working group meetings,” he said.

“The ACO, IMSA, manufacturers, and constructors worked hard on a set of rules that are a true convergence for the next generation of sports car racing.

“The Mazda Motorsports team looks forward to reviewing the draft rules, and we are excited for the final regulations to be announced at 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours in September.

“In the meantime, we are eager to go back to racing when the time is appropriate for the health and safety of our team and fans.”

Mille: Regulation Details “Very Attractive” for Manufacturers

FIA Endurance Commission president Richard Mille added that the draft LMDh regulation details will be “very attractive” to prospective entrants.

However, the world’s OEMs are expected to take extra caution when reviewing their possible involvement because of the uncertainty surrounding the global health crisis.

“I am delighted with the fact that despite the difficult circumstances, the ACO and IMSA kept on working hand in hand and were able to outline further technical details of the LMDh platform,” said Mille.

“To have cars being able to fight for overall victories in top classes of endurance racing on both sides of the Atlantic is something vital to the future of our sport and a very attractive proposition for potential manufacturers.”

John Dagys contributed to this report

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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