Last August, Racer The magazine reported that Lamborghini has garnered a project to put a car in the Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) class at Global Endurance Racing, but was not yet ready to announce it. The head of Motorsport, a U.S. brand, said at the time that the work of a factory tolerance program was “90 percent of the way there.” Now, the last 10 percent is complete, and the Santa Agata Bolognese carmaker has announced that its LMDh cars will begin racing in 2024. The class, created by the US IMSA in collaboration with the French ACO, will start competing next year.
There are refreshers at the top of the endurance racing division, LMDh and Le Mans Hypercar (LMH), both of which have been allowed to run in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. LMDH vehicles use a special chassis provided by four suppliers, Dallara, Legier, Multimetic or Oreca. LMDh teams can use any engine and electronics they want, but they will all fit a special hybrid unit supplied by Bosch, a special lithium-ion battery from Williams Engineering and a special gearbox from Xtrac. Maximum horsepower is limited to about 680. The VW sister brand Porsche has chosen a multimeter chassis powered by a turbocharged V8. Sportscar 365 Lamborghini believes he will buy a leggings chassis. Since the R8 and its V10 are heading towards the dustbin, Lamborghini could also use a V8. Each team builds its own bodywork, the limit of which is a single arrow package for the year to pull the 4: 1 ratio and keep costs down. As the teaser shows, the Lamborghinis of the track will also be known by their Y-shaped DRL signature.
Audi was planning an LMDh entry, but was dropped after confirming its final entry into Formula 1. So right now, Lamborghini will join other LMDh manufacturers Acura, Alpine – which will switch from its current LMH car to LMDh in 2024, BMW, Cadillac, and Porsche. That next brand is also going to F1, but no other program has dropped it.
The LMH class is based on the Roadgowing Hypercar, a manufacturer must sell 20 retail Hypercar within two years to qualify. Although the LMDh-like output is limited to around 680 hp, manufacturers can develop their own engines, gearboxes and hybrid systems. Isolated bodywork allowed, limiting the same drag-to-downforce ratio. Current LMH entries are Alpine, our own Scuderia Cameron Glikenhouse and Toyota. Peugeot entered the series at Le Mans this year – and who knows if Dodge could follow next year. ByKolles aims to join the following year after his 2022 entry was denied, and Ferrari lined up his printing horse in 2023.
Lamborgini’s Squadra Corse is building the LMDh car for its debut in 2024. Motorsport chief Giorgio Sanna can only pin down the “first three or four months” of 2024 for the car’s debut, which had a tough time starting at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. CEO Stefan Winkelman said: “[Our] The LMDh prototypes will become our most sophisticated four-wheeled open-air laboratory “when the company enters the era of hybrid road cars and fights for overall victory in marquee races such as Le Mans, Daytona Rolex 24 and Sebring’s 12 Hours.