Lamborghini says future sportscar rules a “game changer”

Lamborghini chiefs are monitoring the development of common rules across the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, labeling it a “super-exciting opportunity” and a “game changer” for the sport.

Lamborghini says future sportscar rules a “game changer”
Listen to this article

During the Rolex 24 weekend at Daytona, bosses from IMSA and Le Mans organisers the ACO announced a new vision that would see IMSA’s new-for-2022 LMDh machinery be eligible to race against hypercars in the WEC, with the aim of having one common top-tier rules set by 2025.

Following the news, Lamborghini’s head of motorsport Giorgio Sanna told Motorsport.com that the timing could coincide with the Italian brand expanding its racing activities beyond its current GT3/GTD commitments in Europe and America and its one-make Super Trofeo series.

Led by former Ferrari F1 team boss Stefano Domenicali, Lamborghini reported record sales in 2019 with a 43% increase in delivery to customers – selling 2,139 Huracan road cars that have racing equivalents built on the same production line in Santa’Agata Bolognese.

“Clearly, the new DPi [LMDh] is an interesting platform, as is the hypercar for the WEC,” said Sanna. “This is one of the categories that we are looking at with interest for a possible commitment in the future. But today, nothing is decided, it is just an evaluation that we will continue to do. Deciding when, in that case, will be the right time [to compete].

“The IMSA platform is very strategic for us because North America is our number one market. And so, to be able to win for three years consecutively at Daytona [in the GTD class], as we are also growing a lot with Super Trofeo, for us is a very good marketing tool. It promotes the brand awareness and the sporting side of the brand in the most important market that we have worldwide.”

Read Also:

When asked if he thought the long-term goal to converge the rules across the series was a good idea, Sanna replied: “Yes, absolutely. This is something that all the OEMs were asking for heavily in the last few years. To have the strongest platform possible in the endurance world is fundamental to have this kind of synergy. 

“We are really happy from our perspective, but also from the fans perspective. For us it’s fundamental to have a global car platform that is eligible to race in the entire world because we are a global player.”

The planned convergence would allow OEMs competing in IMSA’s top division to race in the WEC and its showpiece event, the Le Mans 24 Hours. 

“Le Mans is the dream for many manufacturers, for many teams, for many drivers,” said Sanna. “We have to keep our passions and grow step by step. But clearly we are young, we have time to get motivated. So no rush!

“We’ll see. We are always looking for new opportunities. But we can't forget that Squadra Corse [Lamborghini’s sporting arm] was born just six years ago, and we are very young.”

Lambo’s CTO fired up over new potential

Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani, was also at Daytona. He has responsibility for all road and racing hardware, is a member of the company’s management board, and was seen entering a meeting with IMSA president John Doonan on Saturday morning – along with other top-ranking Lamborghini officials.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the Sian FKP 37 – a hybrid-powertrain hypercar of which only 63 will be built. During the 2019 World Finals in October, Squadra Corse teased video of a new 12-cylinder track-only hypercar that will debut in 2020 featuring a 6.5-litre V12 engine, delivering 830bhp.

“We make supercars, and we are a hypercar constructor,” Reggiani told Motorsport.com. “For me it is important to understand what are the boundary conditions [of the new technical ruleset], and based on this we will make a decision if it makes sense or not. 

“Let me say we are seated on the bank of the river, waiting to see what’s in the water, to decide if we want to fish… or whether it is just water. Only after Sebring [where a further announcement regarding the rules is expected] will we be able to make our statement.”

Lamborghini Sián FKP 37

Lamborghini Sián FKP 37

Photo by: Lamborghini S.p.A.

Read Also:

Reggiani said that the GT3 platform – branded GT Daytona in IMSA – “really opened the door to European manufacturers to race in the US”. He wants to see this model repeated in the top class in future.

“This has been a huge success, and I think what they want to do with [the new] DPi is exactly the same,” he said. “Manufacturers invest in motorsport for the world, not for one country. And the agreement between IMSA and ACO is a smart, more intelligent solution. We know the costs can grow, so it’s important to control them from a political point of view, and really stick to your rules.”

When asked about the potential of seeing Lamborghini contest for top honours at Le Mans, Reggiani replied: “I think this is what's really sexy [about what's] on offer from IMSA and the ACO. With the same car, you can contest the most iconic races in the world. And for every OEM, if you decide that you make an investment, you can capitalize in America and in Europe, I think this is really the biggest game changer in the field of motorsport. 

“This is a super-exciting opportunity, and we need to see how close it can be to our vision of motorsport.”

shares
comments
John Andretti loses his battle with cancer
Previous article

John Andretti loses his battle with cancer

Next article

LMDh a "cool opportunity" for Mazda Le Mans return

LMDh a "cool opportunity" for Mazda Le Mans return
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push Prime

The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push

Have you heard the one about two British guys driving for a Japanese manufacturer in America’s top sportscar series? Time to sit down and talk with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat about racing across the pond… and your accent being mistaken for Australian!

IMSA
Mar 16, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC Prime

Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the WEC. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic Prime

How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic

Helio Castroneves continued his fine start to life with Meyer Shank Racing that netted the 2021 Indianapolis 500 victory by prevailing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours together with teammates Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. As Cadillac fell by the wayside, the Brazilian veteran won out in an all-Acura duel to the finish

IMSA
Feb 1, 2022