Lamborghini to race at Le Mans and Daytona in 2024
Lamborghini has finally confirmed that it will race at the top level at Le Mans with a new LMDh car that can compete in both the US's IMSA championship and the World Endurance Championship.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that Audi has “paused” its LMDh development campaign, after Lamborghini’s fellow VAG brand decided to turn its attention to F1.
Until this point Lamborghini has concentrated on GT3 racing, claiming numerous victories in both GT World Challenge and the GTD class of IMSA – including a trio of 24 Hours of Daytona triumphs. This will be the first time that the Italian manufacturer has raced for overall wins in IMSA and WEC.
The LMDh programme allows Lamborghini to compete on both sides of the pond. While the new racer will not be able to make its debut when the LMDh class gets going under the banner of “GTP” at the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours, it is expected to be ready to compete for the start of the 2024 season.
No details of the car itself have been announced yet, with no news on the bespoke engine that will be used, or which of the LMP2 chassis manufacturers Lamborghini will partner with to create the new car. The new LMDh car will compete alongside the existing GT3 programme also run by Squadra Corse in IMSA, and Lamborghini says it will not impact global GT3 programme including the new Huracan GT3 car that will launch next year.
The agreement between the FIA and ACO – which run the World Endurance Championship – and IMSA to allow both the WEC’s Le Mans Hypercars and IMSA’s LMDh cars to compete together means that teams will be able to compete in the 24 Horus of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Le Mans 24 Hours with the same machinery for the first time in decades.
Manufacturers already signed up to race include Ferrari, Toyota, Glickenhaus, Peugeot, Acura, Cadillac, BMW, Porsche and Alpine.
Speaking of the announcement, Lamborghini Chairman and CEO Stephan Winkleman said: “This step up into the highest echelon of sports car racing marks an important milestone for our company.
“We will be measuring ourselves against the very best, on the most demanding proving grounds. On one hand, this will give our successful motorsports program even more visibility, but it will also allow us to test future technologies: our LMDh prototypes will become our most sophisticated open laboratory on four wheels.”
Giorgio Sanna, Lamborghini Head of Motorsport, added: “I am absolutely delighted that Lamborghini will be taking the next step in our motorsport journey, the step into LMDh and the top level of sports car racing. LMDh will play a special role in Lamborghini’s Motorsports strategy, giving us the unique opportunity to expand our customer racing activities to new platforms and enforce our long-term partnership with customer teams and drivers.”