Lamborghini plans LMDh for 2024
Head of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse department, Giorgio Sanna revealed that the Italian manufacturer was negotiating to become a partner in a project that would allow him to commit to WEC as well as IMSA. This would require the use of the LMP2 chassis developed in Canada by Multimatic Motorsport and the same engine configuration – as yet unknown – as Porsche and Audi, both already announced in LMDh. Giorgio Sanna explains that there is a « strong interest » Lamborghini to extend its sporting activities beyond GT3 and Super Trofeo.
« We have always said that the LMDh is the right class for motorsport in general, as well as for Lamborghini », he specifies to Motorsport.com. « Technically, the best opportunity is clearly the VW Group platform. We share some ideas and a vision within the group, and I hope we will make a decision soon. »
Giorgio Sanna reminds that there are already strong links in competition between Lamborghini and the other brands of the Volkswagen group. The Huracan GT3 and the Audi R8, for example, were developed jointly between the two entities.
Lamborghini’s goal is to develop an LMDh prototype for 2024, one year after the expected debuts of Porsche and Audi in the category. « For us that would be the big leap and we need time to prepare », warns Giorgio Sanna.
The planned course could be linked to Multimatic’s ability to develop a car with different aerodynamic configurations for each brand and in sufficient quantity. The two German brands are committed to fielding factory cars and also customers from the 24 Hours of Daytona 2023, an event that will mark the great debut of the LMDh.
We know that Lamborghini initially worked on an LMDh project with Dallara, which is one of the approved manufacturers of the LMP2 with Multimatic, Oreca and Ligier. Information confirmed by Giorgio Sanna, who underlined the historical links between Lamborghini and Dallara, whose founder Giampaolo Dallara was in the past technical director of Lamborghini and whose company participated in the aerodynamic development of the Huracan GT3.
« At the beginning, we explored all the opportunities, and Dallara is a long-standing partner of Lamborghini Squadra Corse in GT », insists Giorgio Sanna.
If Lamborghini’s LMDh project sees the light of day, it should be articulated in an identical manner to the brand’s strategy in GT3, where it only works with client teams and does not engage a factory structure.
Bentley more distant
Another brand of the Volkswagen group, Bentley has also worked on such a project to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024, the centenary of its first victory. His boss Paul Williams confirmed the existence of discussions before specifying that the LMDh was not « not totally ruled out, but not a key option either ».
« The LMDh is attractive because the group is committed to it, and it would be a profitable way to compete against important competitors », he admits. « But it’s not completely in line with our very clear strategy for the future, which is to become a fully electric brand. »
On the other hand, the alternative consisting in designing a Hypercar LMH is « always an option » after Paul Williams. « We know what it would cost to do it, but the question is rather whether it would be worth investing this sum to develop a car in a discipline where the technological message is not what we want. » For now, no strategic decision for Bentley’s future in Endurance is expected to be imminent.