Audi Sport has revealed a few more details about their upcoming LMDh programme.
The German brand has confirmed, that the car will be ready for competition at Daytona 2023, but expects to have a car ready in early 2022, so they can start testing.
The LMDh category is built on the new LMP2 cars, with different car manufacturers being allowed to put their own engine and bodywork on, so there will be certain styling cues to their road cars. Just like the Hypercar category, the car will be homologated for five years, so they won’t be allowed to change major components during those years. So it’s important to show up with a good car from the start, or you are stuck with it for five years.
The plan is to sell the car to private teams, which can compete parallel to the factory programme. That wasn’t possible with the previous R15 and R18 models, especially the latter being so complicated with the hybrid power train, that a whole bunch of engineers were needed, to just start up the car, and run it. The LMDh programme will have a hybrid part as well, but it will be the same across all cars, and more or less just plug-and-play, without having to think too much about it.
The car will be developed in close cooperation with Porsche, which is made possible, since the German brands will go for the same chassis manufacturer – which by the way, are not announced just yet. The talk in the town is, however, that they will bring two different engine concepts, so it won’t be exact copies of each other, just as there are slight bodywork differences.
The FIA World Endurance Championship 2021 starts this week at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.