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Porsche ace Cairoli in line for Lamborghini LMDh drive in IMSA

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Cairoli, who’s contracted by Porsche however doesn’t have manufacturing unit driver standing, might fill one of many two remaining seats in Lamborghini’s LMDh programme that can span the endurance leg of IMSA and the total World Endurance Championship season in 2024.

The Italian obtained to pattern the under-development Lamborghini SC63 LMDh for the primary time in a personal check at Jerez final month, where he was joined by Mahindra Formula E driver Edoardo Mortara.

The 27-year-old couldn’t touch upon recommendations that he will likely be becoming a member of Lamborghini subsequent yr, however did admit to Autosport that he drove the SC63 in Spain.

“I simply can say that I attempted a automobile, I loved the check however no more than this,” he mentioned.

Cairoli revealed that his 2024 racing programme will likely be primarily based within the US, suggesting he will likely be leaving the World Endurance Championship after six seasons to maneuver to IMSA.

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The brand new Lamborghini LMDh will make its IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup debut on the Sebring 12 Hour in March 2024 after skipping the Daytona 24 Hours season opener in January.

Perception: How Lamborghini took the long road to Le Mans

“I believe it’s kind of too early to talk as my programme is just not actually confirmed but and there are some issues occurring behind my profession,” he mentioned.

“I can inform you that I’ll in all probability extra on the US aspect subsequent yr, not in Europe.”

Photograph by: AG Photograph

#20 Huber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (992): Matteo Cairoli 

Cairoli has spent the vast majority of his racing profession with Porsche, and inked his first contract with the German producer in 2015 when he was signed as a junior driver.

The Italian made his means by the ranks through the years however was by no means formally promoted to manufacturing unit standing regardless of some spectacular ends in each GT3 and GT3 automobiles.

Cairoli completed runner-up in his first season in WEC’s GTE Am class in 2017, however the spotlight of his profession was arguably an general victory on the 2021 Nurburgring 24 Hours, when he was joined by Michael Christesen and Kevin Estre in a Manthey-run Porsche 911 GTR 3.

Talking on the Bahrain WEC finale, Cairoli strongly hinted that he would go away Porsche on the finish of the season, a transfer that may pave the way in which for him to hitch Lamborghini subsequent yr in manufacturing unit capability. 

“We face some adjustments,” he mentioned. “I’ve been a Porsche driver for almost 10 years now. 

“So I began with them. They grew me up. I’ll at all times be without end grateful with the model however I believe our story might end by finish of this yr.”

Cairoli mentioned he feels able to make the step as much as prototype equipment after an extended stint in GT automobiles. Most of Porsche and Ferrari Hypercar’s drivers additionally moved up the ladder straight from GT racing, skipping the LMP2 class altogether.

“I used to be ready for this chance since a very long time,” he mentioned.

#56 Project 1 - AO Porsche 911 RSR - 19: PJ Hyett, Gunnar Jeannette, Matteo Cairoli

Photograph by: Shameem Fahath

#56 Mission 1 – AO Porsche 911 RSR – 19: PJ Hyett, Gunnar Jeannette, Matteo Cairoli

“I imply I attempted it and it is a totally different form of automobile. And in addition as a racing driver I believe I additionally want an improve for my profession. So the brand new period of prototype is the precise one for me. 

He added: “In my case I began very late in motorsport. I used to be 16. I did not have any kart expertise. 

“So I did one yr in single-seaters after which remainder of my profession has at all times been round GT automobiles. 

“I believe it is the precise process, beginning with GT automobiles after which transferring on to GTE, which is between a GT and a prototype. And now it is time for the following chapter which is LMDh.”

Lamborghini has already signed 4 drivers for its first-ever prototype programme and is within the technique of finishing the total line-up. 

Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli have been named by the Italian producer when it first introduced plans to develop an Ligier LMP2-based LMDh automobile in Might 2022, whereas it has since added ex-Method 1 drivers Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean to its roster. 

An official announcement relating to the remaining drivers, plus the precise make-up of its two automobiles, is just not anticipated till no less than December.

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