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Lamborghini SC63 to make historic top-class debut in FIA WEC season opener

28 February 2024
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New era for Lamborghini Squadra Corse begins with 10-hour 1812km race in Qatar this weekend

Lamborghini Squadra Corse will begin the latest chapter in its illustrious history this weekend as the Sant’Agata Bolognese firm’s SC63 LMDh prototype makes its competitive debut in the Qatar 1812km, the opening round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Unveiled last summer, the bespoke V8 twin-turbo powered SC63 car – developed in collaboration with partner team Iron Lynx and chassis supplier Ligier Automotive – has undergone an extensive testing programme in Europe and the United States in the latter part of 2023 before finalising its pre-season preparations with further testing in the first two months of 2024. In total, the Lamborghini SC63 has chalked up almost 10,000km of running ahead of the WEC curtain-raiser this weekend.

The FIA WEC season opener will mark the first time Lamborghini has competed at world championship level since the early 1990s and the first time with its own dedicated prototype machine. Competing against the championship’s established brands in the Hypercar class, Lamborghini Iron Lynx kicked off its preparations during the two-day Prologue test earlier this week, focusing on reliability and race setup.

Chief Technical Officer at Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Rouven Mohr added: “The moment has finally arrived for our Lamborghini SC63 to make its competitive debut in the top class of the World Endurance Championship this weekend. Of course, there is lot of excitement and anticipation ahead of the first round, but we are also realistic with our expectations. We know the competition is very strong and we hope to learn as much as possible about the car and championship over the Qatar weekend, so that we can build towards the biggest race of the season, which is the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

“For sure, this will be a learning year for Lamborghini Squadra Corse. After rolling out the car only in August and having our testing programme delayed by four weeks, we are realistic about our developmental phase at the moment. In the Prologue, we did the performance evaluation that we had planned, and we concentrated on our own operations, which was focused on execution of tasks and fine-tuning. Regarding the performance, it’s on the level we expected before the weekend and of course we will only know the true performance of the SC63 after the race on Saturday.”

Tasked with giving the SC63 its debut this weekend will be a full factory driver line-up. Long-time official driver Mirko Bortolotti will be joined in the #63 by newcomers Edoardo Mortara and Daniil Kvyat. Both Bortolotti and Kvyat have previous experience in the FIA World Endurance Championship, having competed in the LMP2 class with Prema Racing last season.

In addition to the solitary Hypercar class SC63, two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2s are entered in the new-for-2024 LMGT3 category this year. Forming the line-up in the #60 Iron Lynx car will be Claudio Schiavoni, Franck Perera and Matteo Cressoni, while Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy reunite for their third season in FIA WEC – and first with a Lamborghini – in the #85 Iron Dames entry, alongside Doriane Pin.

Inaugurated in 2004, the Lusail International Circuit just north of the Qatari capital Doha, is a 16-turn, 5.38km track which has hosted both Formula One and motorcycle world championship events. Named in honour of the Qatar national day (December 18th), the 1812km will certainly provide a stern challenge for both the Hypercar and LMGT3 runners as, at 10 hours in length, it is set to be the second-longest race on the FIA WEC calendar.

The weekend at a glance

Logistical delays meant that the planned start to the Prologue was delayed by two days. Four sessions were held over Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th and, in accordance with the Prologue regulations – which permitted teams to run in a maximum of three out of the four seasons – Lamborghini Iron Lynx elected to wait until Monday evening to make its eagerly-anticipated debut on-track.

The mix of night and daytime sessions not only offered up a variety of warm and cool track temperatures but also a visible representation of what the crews are likely to face during the race on Saturday. Key objectives during the Prologue centred on putting more kilometres on the SC63 in long runs while maintaining an eye on overall reliability of the car. Throughout the test, various setup configurations were run on the SC63 with a view to boosting performance particularly with high track temperatures in mind.

The #63 crew of Bortolotti, Kvyat and Mortara kept to their programme without encountering any issues and recorded a best time of 1m42.556, completing a total of 196 laps over the two days. Both Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2s ran smoothly, taking part in the first, second and third sessions, completing a total of 283 laps between the two cars.

Official timed sessions for the opening round of the season begin today [Thursday 29th February]. The first free practice is scheduled to take place at 12:20 local time, while FP2 will begin at 17:30.

Tomorrow [Friday 1st March], a final free practice session is scheduled for 11:00 before heading into the new-for-2024 four-part qualifying, which will start at 16:00. After the grid is set, the race will begin on Saturday 2nd March at 11:00.

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