Lamborghini plans to edge Ferrari at Le Mans

Lamborghini plans to edge Ferrari at Le Mans

The Lamborghini SC63 received a grand unveiling at Goodwood and now the focus is on its performance at Le Mans against Ferrari’s Hypercar.

The SC63 which is Lamborghini’s brand-new endurance prototype, was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as celebrations for the Ferrari 499p Hypercar’s victory at Le Mans were still in full swing.

The car will take part in events like the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) the following year. It will additionally race in the WeatherTech IMSA championship as well.

According to team principal Andrea Piccini, the Le Mans entry presents the intriguing possibility of Ferrari and Lamborghini going head-to-head at La Sarthe as the two most significant brands in Italy. From the outset, Lamborghini is aiming its guns at Maranello’s challenger.

In contrast to Ferrari’s Le Mans-winning 499P Hypercar, which was custom-built, Lamborghini has built its SC63 challenger in accordance with LMDh regulations making use of a chassis that Ligier had already developed as well as a standard hybrid powertrain.

As a Balance of Performance system is created to ensure that Hypercars and LMDh cars may both battle for overall victories in WEC, it will be the first Lamborghini to contend for top honors in the endurance classics.

Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse racing division has teamed up with Iron Lynx, a squad that runs in IMSA with Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo 2s. The two teams are strengthening their partnership in preparation for the frantic Hypercar era of endurance racing, which got underway this year.

LMDh’s stricter regulations compared to the Hypercar category help cut expenses while putting the car on the grid in US since this is the supercar company’s biggest international market.

“We only considered the LMDh platform,” Lamborghini head of motorsport Giorgio Sanna says. “LMDh is the right product in terms of technology, marketing and financial sustainability, which is fundamental for the future of motor sport, in my opinion.

“If companies ten times the size of us are committed to it, the philosophy must be good.”

Having a deeper look at Sanna’s statement, he must be referring to LMDh competitors Porsche and BMW.

The SC63 has a custom 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with unconventional hybrid technology that produces a maximum 670 horsepower that is only sent to the back axle.

The Hypercar is based on a Ligier chassis for the first time, and the brand-new engine could serve as a prototype for a future road-legal powertrain. Over everything is bodywork with styling borrowed from Lamborghini’s road-going cars.

Four of the six drivers for each of the two series’ cars have been confirmed: Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli move up from GT cars, while Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean bring big names from Formula 1 hybrid experience. The anonymous duo, who have reportedly signed, won’t be made public until later in the year.

“We’ve already seen a few top drivers in WEC who’ve successfully made the step up from GT3 to Hypercar,” says Sanna. “While Romain and Daniil bring a methodology of work from F1.”

Although the Daytona grid in January seems doubtful, Caldarelli is eager for his first experience behind the wheel of the car, which will begin testing in the upcoming months before making its race debut in 2024.

“I’m now in my sixth year with Lamborghini and since day one we’ve had something in common – a wish to bring Lamborghini to the pinnacle of racing,” he says. “Looking at all the hard work they’ve done in the factory is both a pleasure but a reminder that I’ve an important commitment.”

Grosjean shared his views after racing in the Iron Lynx Huracan in the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year, and he was eager to wrap off some unfinished business at La Sarthe.

“It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be fun,” he said. “I entered Le Mans in 2010 and loved it.

“We retired partway with engine failure. It was around 2am; I walked to the Dunlop chicane and watched the cars because I just loved being there. I absolutely want to go back.”

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