Sant’Agata Bolognese, 25 January 2024 – The start of a new era for Lamborghini Squadra Corse is set to begin this weekend, with five cars ready to do battle in the 24 Hours at Daytona, the opening round of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Although the long-anticipated debut of the Lamborghini SC63 LMDh prototype will not be seen until the beginning of March, this weekend’s 24 Hours in Florida marks the start of a new and exciting chapter for the Sant’Agata Bolognese firm.
Five cars will contest the around-the-clock endurance marathon, three in the GT Daytona (GTD) class and two in the GTD Pro category.
Of the five entries, two will take part in the full IMSA (Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup) campaign, with two others competing in the Endurance Cup only.
Leading the entry in GTD Pro is the #19 Iron Lynx Huracán, with a full factory line-up at the helm. Past Daytona 24 Hours winners Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Franck Perera will team up with South African Jordan Pepper.
Iron Lynx will also field the one-off GTD Pro #60 entry in the opening round, with Claudio Schiavoni joined by Matteo Cressoni and factory drivers Matteo Cairoli and Romain Grosjean. The all-female Iron Dames squad will return to Daytona too, with the tried-and-tested roster of Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey partnered by Doriane Pin in the #83 machine in GTD.
While the #19 and #83 cars will contest the full Michelin Endurance Cup campaign, the remaining two Huracáns on the entry list are set to dispute the full IMSA schedule in 2024.
Long-standing Lamborghini customer Forte Racing – whose roots stem from US RaceTronics and O’Gara Motorsport operations – will rely on recently-announced factory driver Loris Spinelli for the full GTD season, with fellow factory driver Sandy Mitchell joining for Daytona. Alongside Spinelli in the #78 car for the Endurance rounds is IndyCar driver Devlin DeFrancesco, while the pillar of the team Misha Goikhberg is back for another year. The team enters the new season off the back of a sensational class triumph in last year’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
New to the Lamborghini GTD operation this year is renowned IMSA and Super Trofeo outfit Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport. Piloting the #45 for the full season will be double Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America champions Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal, the latter having been retained as a Lamborghini Young Professional Driver. The pair raced together in IMSA competition with another brand in 2023, and they will be joined for Daytona by former
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America regular, Ashton Harrison. Completing the line-up is 17-year-old Graham Doyle, who contested the Super Trofeo North America championship last year in the Am category, taking a race win in the Lamborghini World Finals event at Vallelunga in November.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse has successful history with the Daytona 24 Hours over the past few years, having taken its first major long-distance race victory in 2018, with Grasser Racing Team. It then repeated that feat in 2019, becoming the first team to take back-to-back victories in GTD in both the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours. With Paul Miller Racing in 2020, Lamborghini achieved an unprecedented third successive victory at Daytona, while also finishing on the podium two years ago.
The weekend at a glance
Competitive action kicked off with the traditional Roar before the 24 across the weekend of January 19-21, with a total of five timed practice sessions. Qualifying for the main race then took place on Sunday 21st. On the GTD Pro grid, the #19 will line up a promising fourth for the race, with the #60 lining up eighth. With a time of 1m44.707, the #45 Huracán was the fastest Lamborghini, placing sixth overall among the two GT classes. It will start from fourth in GTD, one place ahead of the #78. The #83 Iron Dames will start 13th out of 23 cars on Saturday in GTD.
Ahead of the green flag on Saturday, the teams and drivers will reconvene at the Daytona International Speedway today (Thursday 25th January), with three practice sessions (two 90-minute and one 105-minute) taking place. A fourth and final one-hour practice session will take place tomorrow (Friday 26th) before the race begins on Saturday 27th January at 13:40 ET.