The “Impressive” Lamborghini LMDh Test Form Gives Grosjean Confidence
November 29, 2023 / By Zunair Tahir / Automotive News
The Italian sportscar maker Lamborghini, which has never fielded a prototype like the Ligier-chassised SC63 vehicle, is getting ready for the largest program in its history.
However, a few weeks after testing began, the project suffered a significant setback when Bortolotti severely damaged the tub in a vehicle collision at Paul Ricard.
Since then, Lamborghini has managed to put a lot of miles on a new chassis. The vehicle has successfully completed two comprehensive testing in Spain at Almeria and Jerez, and it is currently being delivered to the US in preparation for the IMSA-sanctioned Daytona race next month.
Among the drivers who tested the SC63 LMDh since testing commenced in Spain was Grosjean, who was pleasantly pleased by how well it performed and how few serious technical problems it encountered, particularly with the standard electrical hybrid system.
“The testing went really, really well; it was very impressive with how smoothly it went,” the Frenchman said to Autosport.
Being a year later [than the opposition], we haven’t experienced any problems with the hybrid – praise be – and it’s been a pleasant surprise for all of us that a new automobile has been operating so smoothly. I’m hoping the upcoming exams go as smoothly as the previous one!
“That should give us a good idea of where we are,” the manufacturer said, referring to their participation in the group test at Daytona on December 6 and 7.
Similar to Alpine, Lamborghini signed off on the initiative in the summer of 2022, thus it is also joining the LMDh ranks a year later than its competitors.
Six weeks before the vehicle’s first comprehensive test at Paul Ricard, in July of this year, the SC63 was formally unveiled to the public.
Considering the little lead time Lamborghini had to work with, Bortolotti expressed his admiration for the program’s current status and his desire to assist in furthering the car’s development in the US before its competitive debut in Qatar in March of next year.
The Italian informed Autosport that “everything is going according to plan.”
“I’m looking forward to an intense test phase in the coming weeks till the end of the year to prepare for the upcoming season. European test sessions are now complete, and we will move to America in the coming weeks to continue the development.”
“I have to admit that the job we have already completed has pleased me. Thus, the automobile demonstrated its dependability early on in the testing process.
“It’s evident that during the development period, things don’t always go as planned, but I must admit that we were able to go a great distance throughout Europe, which makes me extremely happy and also provides us with an opportunity to work with and learn more about the automobile.
“I have to admit that, given the situation right now, I’m really pleased with how things turned out.”
With the exception of the Daytona 24 Hours curtain-raiser in January, Lamborghini will field a single car in both the WEC and IMSA endurance races during its inaugural year in the prototype categories.
It is anticipated that a second SC63 would compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours in June alongside the WEC entry for the entire season.
Along with Daniil Kvyat and Andrea Caldarelli, Grosjean, who will be racing for the WEC team at Le Mans, and Bortolotti are the other two factory drivers enrolled in the program.
Edoardo Mortara is being considered for the last spot on Lamborghini’s six-person LMDh lineup, with current Porsche-contracted driver Matteo Cairoli in the driver’s seat.
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