Lamborghini confirms Le Mans Daytona hybrid entry for 2024

Last August, Racer magazine reported that Lamborghini had green-lit a project to put a car in global endurance racing’s Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) class, but wasn’t ready to announce it yet. The brand’s head of motorsport for the U.S. said at the time that work on a factory endurance program was “90 percent of the way there.” Now, the last 10 percent has been completed, and the Sant’ Agata Bolognese carmaker announced its LMDh car will start racing in 2024. The class, developed by the U.S. IMSA organization in collaboration with France’s ACO, begins competing next year.

Here’s the refresher on the top to endurance racing categories, LMDh and Le Mans Hypercar (LMH), both of which are allowed to run in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. LMDh cars use a spec chassis provided by one of four suppliers, Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic or Oreca. LMDh teams can use any engine and electronics they want, but they will all fit a spec hybrid unit supplied by Bosch, a spec lithium-ion battery from Williams Engineering, and a spec gearbox from Xtrac. Max horsepower is limited to about 680. VW sister brand Porsche opted for a Multimatic chassis powered by a turbocharged V8. Sportscar365 believes Lamborghini will buy a Ligier chassis. Since the R8 and its V10 are headed for the dustbin, Lamborghini could use a V8 as well. Every team creates its own bodywork, the limit being a 4:1 ratio of drag to downforce and a single aero package for the year to keep costs down. As the teaser shows, Lamborghinis on the track will be known by their Y-shaped DRL signatures, too.

Audi had been planning an LMDh entry, but dropped out when it confirmed its eventual entry into Formula 1. So for the moment, 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 latter brand is also going into F1, but hasn’t axed any other programs.

The LMH class is based on roadgoing hypercars, a manufacturer required to sell 20 of the retail hypercars over a two-year period to qualify. Although output’s capped to around 680 hp as with LMDh, manufacturers can develop their own engines, gearboxes and hybrid systems. Discrete bodywork is allowed, held to the same drag-to-downforce ratio limit. The current LMH entries are Alpine, our own Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, and Toyota. Peugeot enters the series at Le Mans this year — and who knows if a Dodge might follow next year. ByKolles aims to join next year after having its 2022 entry denied, and Ferrari puts its Prancing Horse on the line in 2023.

Lamborgini’s Squadra Corse is developing the LMDh car for a 2024 debut. Head of Motorsport Giorgio Sanna could only pin down the “first three or four months of” 2024 for the car’s debut, the hard deadline being the starting line at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. CEO Stephan Winkelmann said “[Our] LMDh prototypes will become our most sophisticated open laboratory on four wheels” as the company enters the hybrid road car era and as it fights for overall victories at marquee races like Le Mans, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

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