Lamborghini historically isn’t known for its efforts in racing, especially in comparison to pretty much all of its competitors. Where Ferrari has historically been a racing team which sells road cars to fund its on-track efforts, Lamborghini has never really given a shit about winning. That changed fairly recently with a handful of Gallardo-based racers and a slew of competition victories with the Huracan GT3. On Wednesday the Automobili announced that it would be joining the slew of manufacturers jumping into IMSA’s top prototype class in the coming years.
With the death of LMP1 and a stagnating field of manufacturers in IMSA’s current DPI class, the sport knew it needed to develop a new hybrid-oriented category for manufacturers to glom onto. The ploy worked, as LMDh is one of the fastest growing categories I’ve ever born witness to in modern motorsport. Acura, Audi, BMW, and Porsche have all formally announced entry into the class, while it’s a fairly open secret that Cadillac is currently prepping a car for the class. There are rumors that Hyundai might be jumping into the simmering pot as well.
This is all in addition to Toyota, Peugeot, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, and ByKolles are either currently running or plan to run Le Mans Hypercar efforts, which will be allowed entry into the top class alongside LMDh cars in both IMSA and WEC from 2023 onward. We could potentially see as many as 25 cars in the prototype class at Le Mans in 2024! The most we’ve seen in recent years was the wild and wacky 2015 Le Mans which had 13 LMP1 entrants. This is going to be straight up wild.
Porsche and Audi have already committed to essentially different branded bodywork on otherwise identical Multimatic chassis with a common turbocharged V8 powering both. It would stand to reason that Lamborghini would forego the expense of developing its own LMDh engine, and use the same engine as its Volkswagen Group stablemates. The Italian brand is still nailing down some of the details, but hopes to begin development work soon. As it stands, things look like Audi and Porsche will enter the sport first to develop the chassis, engine, and infrastructure for a third such program.
According to Racer.com, Audi is looking likely to select former Bentley factory effort K-PAX Racing as the partner team for this LMDh effort. Other prominent Lamborghini customer teams are also in the running, including Grasser Racing Team and 2018 GT Daytona champions and 2020 Daytona 24 victors Paul Miller Racing.
Whatever happens with this newly converged FIA WEC and IMSA prototype category, the fans are sure to win. Let’s get ready for the zoom zooms to happen in just 18 months or so.