Legendary Italian marque Lamborghini has been linked with a factory-backed attack on the GTE ranks of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018 – including the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Co-author: Franco Nugnes
Unlike its Italian road-car rival Ferrari, Lamborghini has shied away from top-line motorsport involvement in the past – apart from briefly supplying V12 Formula 1 engines in the early 1990s to the likes of Larousse, Lotus, Ligier and Minardi. Ayrton Senna even tested one of its motors in a McLaren near the end of 1993, before the project came to a halt.
In 1998, the brand was sold to Volkswagen, where it was placed under the control of subsidiary marque Audi.
Lamborghini subtly re-entered the motorsport scene in the mid-2000s in GT racing with Reiter Engineering, and has recently developed a wide-scale GT3 programme – with 20 customers around the world racing its V10-powered Huracan model in series such as Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series, and IMSA’s GTD class.
A one-make Super Trofeo series has also been run by the sporting arm of the brand since 2009 in Europe, with offshoots being introduced in Asia and North America. It also introduced a Young Driver Programme in 2015.
With former Ferrari F1 team principal Stefano Domenicali at the helm as CEO, Motorsport.com's sources in Italy suggest that Dallara is already collaborating with engineers at Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese HQ on a design study ahead of a full-blown GTE contender version of the Huracan.
It would race in WEC against Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Chevrolet and Ford road-car marketplace rivals.
Lamborghini president Andrea Cordovani has recently gone on record ruling out any F1 project in the future, but admitted: “One cannot think of a brand as Lamborghini without motorsport.”