Lamborghini’s Newest Bull Is Ready to Rage with GTP Debut at Sebring

By Tony DiZinno

IMSA Wire Service

And then there were five.

Lamborghini joins the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class battle at one of the biggest parties of the season, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac, on Saturday, March 16.

The Italian manufacturer will start doing battle with Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche, the quartet of manufacturers that premiered their LMDh specification cars at the 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona and are now in their second year of competition.

The Lamborghini SC63 was formally unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last July in England, where IMSA President John Doonan joined key stakeholders in attendance.

At the time, he called the distinctively styled, vivid “Verde Mantis” green-liveried car “a stunner.”

Ligier produced the SC63 chassis, joining fellow chassis entrants Dallara (BMW and Cadillac), Multimatic (Porsche) and ORECA (Acura) as producers of GTP cars.

Lamborghini developed an all-new 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine in-house specifically for this effort. What Lamborghini dubs a “cold V” configuration means those turbos are housed outside the vee of the engine for enhanced cooling and servicing, while also lowering the mass and optimizing its center of gravity. The engine is calibrated to the hybrid powertrain system common to all GTP manufacturers.

Preparation on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Testing took place on a variety of European circuits – mainly in Spain and Italy – as the manufacturer prepared for its FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) effort that’s running parallel to the WeatherTech Championship program. The Iron Lynx team is operating the single-car program in each series.

In North America, the Lamborghini SC63 completed its first two tests over the winter at Daytona International Speedway and Circuit of The Americas before shifting further south to the legendary yet treacherous 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway. Lamborghini’s presence at the IMSA-sanctioned December test in Daytona was to work toward the car’s homologation, and not a precursor to racing in this year’s Rolex 24.

The SC63 made its competition debut last weekend in the WEC race at the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar, finishing 14th overall with co-drivers Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat and Edoardo Mortara. Impressively, the car ran all 10 hours and finished just five laps behind the winning Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963.

“This is the beginning of a learning season,” Emmanuel Esnault, the team’s racing director, said after the Qatar race, “but having such a solid foundation is very motivating considering the huge amount of work we have ahead of us. In a couple of weeks, we will be competing in the Twelve Hours of Sebring, one of the world’s toughest races. We need to extract the maximum benefits from what we are learning during race weekends to develop the car and further improve our trackside operations to provide our drivers with the best possible opportunities.”

Andrea Caldarelli, Matteo Cairoli and Romain Grosjean are tasked with running the No. 63 Lamborghini SC63 in the WeatherTech Championship. They are slated to compete in the remaining four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races starting with Sebring.

Grosjean, who will split his 2024 season between those four IMSA rounds, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the WEC prototype and the full IndyCar Series season, posted on social media that the team “learnt a lot (from testing) and will go back home to prepare as much as we can for our debut” on the notoriously bumpy circuit.

Lamborghini’s IMSA Legacy Grows with Prototype Debut

The Sebring debut represents the final leap of Lamborghini’s rise within IMSA to the top class of its top championship. The brand has spent more than a decade building its Squadra Corse program into a greater part of the overall paddock.

The Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series premiered in 2013, and the single-make series of raging bulls has provided a wealth of entertainment and produced a number of drivers and teams that have moved further up the IMSA ladder.

Just three years later in 2016, Lamborghini entered the WeatherTech Championship with its Huracán GT3, its flagship car in GT Daytona (GTD) competition. It took its first win a year later in 2017 at VIRginia International Raceway.

In total, Lamborghini has won 10 WeatherTech Championship races – all in GTD, including six Michelin Endurance Cup races – with four teams (Paul Miller Racing winning five from 2018-2021, GRT Grasser Racing Team three from 2018-19, Change Racing one in 2017, Forte Racing one in 2023). Iron Lynx, with entries in both GTP and GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO), and/or Iron Dames (GTD) could add their name to the list of Lamborghini’s winning squads in the WeatherTech Championship this season.

Rouven Mohr, Lamborghini chief technical officer, noted the car’s growth at launch and reflected on its progress throughout the testing program.

“Our LMDh car, the Lamborghini SC63, is an exciting challenge from both a technical and a human standpoint,” Mohr explained at Goodwood.

“The development of our internal combustion engine, aerodynamically efficient bodywork and the overall technical package is a process that has pushed us to constantly raise our own standards.

“Now, it is time to put the wheels in motion, literally, on track in order to be ready and competitive for the 2024 season.”

Tune in to see the Lamborghini SC63 IMSA debut in the 72nd Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 16. Flag-to-flag live coverage streams on Peacock beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, with USA Network joining at 4 p.m. through the race finish.