As reported by RACER yesterday, Lamborghini has confirmed that it is developing an LMDh car that will join the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 2024 Hypercar Championship World Endurance class.
The GTP class will debut in the WeatherTech Championship in 2023, replacing the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) as the most technologically advanced class in the series. The Hypercar class at the WEC was introduced last year, and LMDh cars will be integrated into the class in 2023.
The Lamborghini announcement marks major progress for the Italian sports car maker. Although he created the Formula 1 engine in 1989-1993, his racing activities were largely limited to GT cars, first the Super Trofeo series and then the GT3. The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 has 15 wins in the GTD class since 2016, including three 24 consecutive Rolex wins at Daytona in 2018-2020.
“This step into the top echelon of sports car racing is an important milestone for our company,” said Stefan Winkelmann, chairman and CEO of Lamborghini. “We will measure ourselves with the best, on the most demanding landfills.”
The addition of Lamborghini increases the number of manufacturers involved in the production of LMDh cars, to five. Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche have previously announced plans to join the class at the time of its launch in 2023.
#ICYMI: The Italian brand becomes the fifth manufacturer to participate in the new top-level WeatherTech Championship. #IMSA / #LamborghiniSC / @LamborghiniSC pic.twitter.com/Ww17ziO6FH
– #IMSA (@IMSA) May 17, 2022
“IMSA has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Lamborghini, starting with the introduction of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America ten years ago and continuing the successful GTD program,” said IMSA President John Dunant. “We are proud that Lamborghini confirms plans to expand its IMSA in 2024 to GTP and the top category of racing sports car prototypes.”
LMDh is a hybrid platform shared between IMSA and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). The LMDh engines will generate more than 670 horsepower (500 kilowatts) due to the combined power of the internal combustion engine, developed individually by each participating manufacturer, and the overall hybrid transmission.
“It is a great honor for us that Lamborghini will join the Hypercar class of the FIA WEC from 2024,” said Frederic Lecienne, CEO of the FIA WEC.
“Lamborghini is an iconic brand, but it has never before raced for premier endurance. They join the FIA WEC at a very interesting time in its history. For the 2024 season there will be an exceptional line of brands competing in our premier class. The competition will be fierce, but we have no doubt that Lamborghini will be in the thick of the fight. Lamborghini has been very successful in other classes of endurance races, so we can’t wait to see them compete for overall victories in our iconic competitions. ”
“I am very pleased that Lamborghini will take the next step in our motorsport, a step in LMDh and a high level of racing in sports cars,” said Giorgio Sanna, head of Lamborghini motorsport. “LMDh will play a special role in Lamborghini’s motorsport strategy, giving us a unique opportunity to expand our customer racing activities to new platforms and strengthen our long-term partnership with customer teams and drivers.”
Winkelman believes the company’s investment in LMDh has a greater impact than just the racing program. The company recently unveiled its first hybrid model, the Sian-limited, and to replace its current top production car, the Aventador, there will also be a hybrid transmission. The company says that by the end of 2024, its entire lineup will be hybrid.
“On the one hand, it will give our successful motorsport program even more visibility,” Winkelmann said. “But it will also allow us to test future technology: our LMDh prototypes will become our most challenging open lab on four wheels.”