Lamborghini SC63: The story so far

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The iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will take place next week over the weekend of 15-16 June, will mark the halfway point of the Lamborghini SC63’s maiden season of racing in the top flight of both the FIA World Endurance Championship (Hypercar class) and IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship (GTP class).

Competing against a swathe of established brands at the highest level, Lamborghini and its partner team Iron Lynx have made substantial progress with the first dedicated prototype racing car developed by the racing division of the Sant’Agata Bolognese firm, Squadra Corse.

Underpinning the improving results on-track and the encouraging reliability of the SC63, is the incredible work ethic and effort from the mechanics, engineers, technicians and drivers within the Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Iron Lynx teams, the bulk of which work on both WEC and IMSA projects. In what has been a relatively short lead-time since the official launch of the car last summer, the SC63 has achieved positive results and scored points in both championships.

Although limited to one car each in FIA WEC and IMSA in its maiden season, Lamborghini Squadra Corse will attack the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a two-car entry as it enters the most significant race in the history of Automobili Lamborghini in France.

At the wheel of the #19 car will be IMSA regulars Matteo Cairoli, Andrea Caldarelli and Romain Grosjean, while Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat and Edoardo Mortara will drive the #63. Reserve driver for the team over the 24 Hours of Le Mans week will be Jordan Pepper; the South African will get his first taste of the SC63 during the pre-event test day on the weekend of June 8-9.

Ahead of the iconic, jewel-in-the-crown race, here are some of the major milestones of the SC63’s journey so far in 2024.

Qatar (FIA WEC)

The SC63 made its competitive racing debut at the opening round of the FIA WEC season on the first weekend in March in Qatar, a mammoth 10-hour 1812km event which put the car and its drivers through one of the most gruelling tests of endurance to be faced all season. Bortolotti, Mortara and Kvyat entered the first weekend of the year with humility, eager to learn as much about the car and championship as it could in the relatively limited track time available given the infancy of the project. Following the customary two-day pre-season prologue test, the #63 hit the track for three practice sessions at the Doha International Circuit and qualified 18th on the grid in the hands of Kvyat. While one-lap and longer race pace was unfortunately lacking, reliability of the SC63 was a positive takeaway from the Qatar race, despite a late suspension issue which caused the car to drop four laps off the lead. Despite this, it finished ahead of more experienced crews and was classified 13th following post-race penalties and a disqualification of the #94 Peugeot and #2 Cadillac.

Sebring (IMSA)

A fortnight later and it was the turn of the IMSA crew of Grosjean, Cairoli and Caldarelli to give the SC63 its US racing bow in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Amid the oppressive Florida heat and the traditional car-breaking nature of the former airfield track, the SC63 again proved its reliability by reaching the finish of the race on the lead lap and recording the car’s first drivers’ championship points with a fine seventh place. A red flag in qualifying hampered Cairoli, whose best lap was good enough for eighth on the grid and tyre warm-up following the pit-stops during the race continued to provide the team plenty of homework for future races. A minor issue with the door during Grosjean’s time in the car forced an extra pit-stop but the Frenchman showcased his strong racing skill to doggedly remain on the lead lap as night fell.

Imola (FIA WEC)

Back in Europe, the second round of the FIA WEC season was a special one for the Lamborghini Iron Lynx team, who revelled in the chance to race on home soil at Imola in mid-April, just over an hour’s drive from the Sant’Agata Bolognese headquarters. The only Italian round on the calendar produced the best all-round weekend performance for the SC63 during the first half of the year, as strong reliability was finally accompanied by improved lap-time and race pace. Bortolotti set the fourth-quickest time in free practice and then qualified the car on the grid despite recurring steering issues. The #63 started ahead of both Alpine Hypercars and Bortolotti settled into a strong 12th place at the start after avoiding a multi-car incident at Tamburello on the first lap. Inclement weather played havoc with team strategies throughout the field but the SC63 managed to reach the finish in 12th, while scoring more Manufacturer points in the process.

Spa-Francorchamps (FIA WEC)

The final WEC round before the 24 Hours of Le Mans was held at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps in May. Hamstrung by the lack of testing opportunities at the Belgian circuit and limited data sharing by only running one car in each championship, this was a character-building weekend for the Lamborghini Iron Lynx team as it suffered its first retirement of the SC63 journey so far; a cracked axle caused a rear suspension failure with Mortara’s one-off replacement Caldarelli at the wheel approaching the halfway stage of the six-hour race. Having approached the weekend as an extended test session to learn more about the car, the team remained positive following analysis of long-run performance and setup optimisation.

The SC63 Timeline

17 May 2022 – Lamborghini formally announces the development of the SC63, the first dedicated racing prototype from Lamborghini Squadra Corse to compete in the top-class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship

5 November 2022 – Iron Lynx unveiled as the official LMDh partner of Lamborghini Squadra Corse at the Lamborghini Grand Finals in Portimão, Portugal.

13 July 2023 – The covers are taken off the Lamborghini SC63 and presented to the world’s press at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, UK

2 August 2023 – The Lamborghini SC63 conducts its first shakedown at Vallelunga, Italy

10 August 2023 – The first official test is held at Imola, with Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli at the wheel over two days

13 October 2023 – Almost 2000km is amassed in a two-day test in Almería, Spain, courtesy of Caldarelli and Romain Grosjean

6-7 December 2023 – The Lamborghini SC63 completes 1100km and sets the fastest time in the official IMSA sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway

12-13 December 2023 – After a two-day test at COTA, Austin, Lamborghini Iron Lynx finalises its LMDh driver roster, with Edoardo Mortara and Matteo Cairoli joining Bortolotti, Caldarelli, Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat as Factory Drivers

1 March 2024 – Debut of the Lamborghini SC63 in the Qatar 1812km, the first round of the 2024 FIA WEC season. It finishes 14th.

17 March 2024 – The US debut for the Lamborghini SC63 in the 12 Hours of Sebring. It finishes seventh

21 April 2024 – The first European race weekend for the Lamborghini SC63 at Imola, the second round of the 2024 FIA WEC season. It finishes 12th.

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