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Grosjean gets first run in Lamborghini SC63 LMDh as testing resumes after crash

Romain Grosjean got his first taste of the new Lamborghini SC63 LMDh as the Italian manufacturer resumed full testing after major shunt at the end of August.

Lamborghini SC63 LMDh

Grosjean drove the hybrid prototype that will carry Lamborghini’s hopes in both the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship in the hands of the Iron Lynx team from next year at the Almeria circuit in southern Spain over three days this week.

The test at which Andrea Caldarelli also drove was the first significant run for the SC63 developed in conjunction with Ligier Automotive since the first chassis sustained major damage in testing at Paul Ricard.

It was described by Iron Lynx team principal Andrea Piccini as the “first proper test” for the car since Mirko Bortolotti crashed the car during its second full test at the French circuit in the third week of August.

The crash at Ricard resulted in a temporary halt in Lamborghini’s development programme, including the cancellation of a test outing at Spa-Francorchamps at the start of September.

Piccini played down the impact of the crash on development of the SC63, pointing out that there had been “some on-track running on smaller tracks in Italy” without elaborating on their extent or timing.

“These things happen in motor racing; you deal with it and move on,” he told Autosport.

“We have had to reshuffle our programme a little bit between what we plan between the USA and Europe.”

Lamborghini SC63 LMDh

Lamborghini SC63 LMDh

Photo by: Lamborghini Squadra Corse

Asked if he had concerns that development is now behind schedule, he replied: “There are always concerns with such a big and complicated programme; I wouldn't say they are any greater than before.

“Obviously it would have been better not to have lost time, but I still think we can keep to our schedule.”

Piccini stated that it will begin testing in the USA “very soon” and suggested it is likely that testing will also continue in Europe in parallel to the US programme.

“This should be the plan, but we are still defining our schedule as we wait for our homologation slots,” he explained.

“It is not an easy process when you have to homologate the car on two sides of the world.”

The car that ran in carbon black at Almeria was a new chassis, Piccini confirmed.

But he insisted that it was a chassis already being built before the accident and not a direct replacement for a car that ran in livery at Ricard.

It completed approximately 2000km on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the hands of Grosjean and Caldarelli.

Romain Grosjean, Lamborghini Iron Lynx, Lamborghini SC63 LMDh

Romain Grosjean, Lamborghini Iron Lynx, Lamborghini SC63 LMDh

Photo by: Lamborghini Squadra Corse

The Lamborghini SC63 was given a shakedown at Vallelunga at the start of August before beginning testing proper at Imola in the middle of the month.

Caldarelli, Bortolotti and Daniil Kvyat drove the car over the course of two days at Imola.

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The Lamborghini's race debut will be the opening round of the 2024 WEC in Qatar at the start of March.

It has never planned to contest the Daytona 24 Hours IMSA season-opener in January as part of its attack on the Michelin-sponsored Endurance Cup rounds of the North American series.

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