The new Lamborghini SC63 LMDh made its track debut in the IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway and finished the day fastest under Andrea Caldarelli’s control.
Lamborghini Iron Lynx Racing team unofficially dominated the time charts on the first day of the IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway, led by Andrea Caldarelli in the new Lamborghini SC63 LMDh.
The Daytona International Speedway (Road Course) hosted the first of two days of IMSA-sanctioned testing, offering a preview of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which will feature Jenson Button, Sean Creech’s Ligier JS P217, as well as other drivers.
Caldarelli dominated the GTP field by more than four tenths of a second in the second session on Wednesday, clocking the fastest lap of 1:35.027. It was the first time the Ligier-chassied LMDh car had been driven on American soil, after only having previously tested in Europe.
Caldarelli was joined by Mirko Bortolotti, Romain Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat as they all shared driving duties.
Lamborghini’s SC63 is powered by a 3.8 twin-turbo V8 engine that is mated to a Bosch hybrid motor generator unit that meets LMDh specifications. The chassis was developed in collaboration with Ligier and the team will be operated in conjunction with Iron Lynx.
Although the new car won’t compete in the Daytona 24 Hours next month, it will instead make its IMSA SportsCar Championship debut at Sebring in March.
Iron Lynx team boss Andrea Piccini admitted he was surprised after the SC63 outperformed all of its GTP class rivals on the first day of running at Daytona on Wednesday.
“I think it’s developing well,” said Piccini. “The first day was very positive, the car ran without major issues. Honestly, the pace is there.
“The time was great, we were a little bit surprised as well to be immediately so competitive but there is so much to do to make the car reliable, to be able to run consistently, to use the tires properly – there’s a lot to do.
“We had a slow start in the morning because we had some stuff to finish – in IMSA things are a little different, at 7pm everything closes here, whereas in Europe we work until late at night!
“We had a lot of work to do and not enough time, so we had to carry it out in the morning. But it’s certainly very encouraging to be leading the first session.”
Additionally, Piccini expressed satisfaction with the car’s reliability and maintained that the major incident that Mirko Bortolotti encountered while conducting the car’s second comprehensive test at Paul Ricard in August had not significantly affected the program.
“I think you need to put something like this in the account, let’s say, to have crashes like this during the development of the car,” he said.
“There were some tests planned straight after but we changed the program to different activities.
“I can’t say it’s positive to have a crash but it showed some areas that we needed to improve on the car. From a negative thing, for sure, we took out some positives and have a stronger and even more reliable car.
“The testing program has been running pretty much without major problems right from the beginning, apart from Day 1 when we had to adjust some small things on the engine.
“We’ve done a good mileage on all the testing days we have done, with some small issues here and there, pieces to change and adjust, a lot of electronic settings to be in the right range of power to use properly the hybrid system.
“So we’re far from being perfect, let’s say, from the hybrid part of the engine. Overall it’s been running well.”
The SC63 will make its GTP category debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring which is the second round of the season, as further testing is scheduled with visits to Imola, Paul Ricard, Almeria, and Jerez.