Lamborghini’s new LMDh race car, which is being developed to compete at the top level of endurance racing starting in 2024, recently began testing on the racetrack, with Italy’s Imola serving as the first stop.
The race car, called the SC63, was shown for the first time in July during the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. The SC signifies Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse racing department, while the number 63 represents the year of Lamborghini’s founding.
An initial shakedown took place at Italy’s Vallelunga racetrack at the start of August and the first test took place this week at Imola. Further tests are planned for Circuit Paul Ricard in France and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium throughout the rest of August.
The first test lasted two days, with former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat and Lamborghini Squadra Corse drivers Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti taking turns behind the wheel. Lamborghini has also signed another ex-F1 driver, Romain Grosjean, for its LMDh driver lineup. Additional drivers will be named later in 2023.
Lamborghini plans to field an SC63 in the premier classes of both the IMSA SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship, known as GTP and Hypercar respectively. The classes are also open to rival LMH cars, such as Ferrari’s Le Mans-winning 499P, with balance of performance rules used to ensure an even playing field.
Lamborghini has partnered with Italian racing team Iron Lynx for its LMDh program, and will compete as Lamborghini Iron Lynx.
All LMDh race cars feature a hybrid powertrain using a control Xtrac transmission, battery, and motor-generator unit to help keep a lid on costs. Constructors are free to choose the internal-combustion component of the powertrain, with Lamborghini opting for a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 developed in-house specifically for the LMDh program.
Constructors can also choose the gear ratios for the transmission and the amount of slip of the differential. Lamborghini said it focused on the calibrations for these units in the first test, along with calibrations for the speed limiter and traction control.
In line with LMDh regulations, the cars can generate a maximum output of 670 hp. The cars must also have a minimum weight of 2,270 pounds, without the fuel and driver.
Constructors also need to use a control chassis similar to a current LMP2 chassis, sourced from one of four suppliers: Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic, and Oreca. Lamborghini chose a chassis from Ligier. As Lamborghini was the first constructor to opt for the chassis, it was able to work with Ligier on finalizing the specification. For example, it influenced the design of the push-rod front suspension, the overall weight distribution, and the ease with which certain key parts can be repaired, the automaker said.
The first race for the SC63 will be the 2024 24 Hours of Daytona next January, which is the race that serves as the opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Also joining the fray in 2024 will be France’s Alpine with its A424 LMDh race car.
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