Thursday, Jul 07

Lamborghini Joining IMSA GTP Class in 2024 with LMDh Prototype

Saturday, May 21 461
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Lamborghini will join the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class in 2024 with an LMDh prototype.
 
Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the automaker’s motorsports division, announced Tuesday that it will field cars in both the WeatherTech Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) beginning in 2024. The GTP class debuts in the WeatherTech Championship in 2023, replacing Daytona Prototype international (DPi) as the most technologically advanced class in the series.
 
The Lamborghini announcement marks a major advancement for the Italian sports car manufacturer, adding to its commitment to IMSA. Lamborghini began competing in the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class in 2016. IMSA has also sanctioned and operated the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America single-make series since 2013.
 
“This step up into the highest echelon of sports car racing marks an important milestone for our company,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini chairman and CEO. “We will be measuring ourselves against the very best, on the most demanding proving grounds.”
 
The addition of Lamborghini brings the number of manufacturers committed to producing LMDh cars for the GTP class to five. Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche previously announced plans to join the class in 2023.
 
“IMSA has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Lamborghini dating back to the introduction of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America a decade ago and continuing into a successful GTD program,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “We are proud that Lamborghini is confirming plans to grow its IMSA footprint even further in 2024 into GTP and the top category of prototype sports car racing.”
 
LMDh is a hybrid-based platform shared between IMSA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). LMDh engines will generate more than 670 horsepower (500 kilowatts) from the combined output of an internal combustion engine developed individually by each participating manufacturer and a common hybrid powertrain.
 
The LMDh regulations were created jointly by IMSA, the ACO and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The new LMDh platform cars will be eligible to race in the WeatherTech Championship’s GTP class and the WEC’s Hypercar class.
 
Through a historic convergence agreement between IMSA, the ACO and FIA announced last summer, LMDh cars and cars built to Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) technical regulations will be able to compete head-to-head for overall victories in the IMSA GTP and WEC Hypercar class beginning next season. As a result, manufacturers will have the opportunity to compete in internationally renowned endurance races including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
“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,” said Giorgio Sanna, Lamborghini’s head of motorsport. “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.”
 
Winkelmann, the Lamborghini CEO, sees the company’s investment in LMDh having a larger effect than just on the racing program.
 
“On one hand, this will give our successful motorsports program even more visibility,” Winkelmann said. “But it will also allow us to test future technologies: Our LMDh prototypes will become our most sophisticated open laboratory on four wheels.”
 
Since 2016, Lamborghini has posted 15 victories in the WeatherTech Championship GTD class, including consecutive wins at the Rolex 24 in 2018, ‘19 and ’20.
Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

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