Lamborghini names Bortolotti and Caldarelli as first LMDh drivers

Lamborghini has named Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli as the first drivers for its LMDh prototype due to start racing in 2024.

Lamborghini names Bortolotti and Caldarelli as first LMDh drivers

The long-time members of the Italian manufacturer’s GT roster will act as test drivers for the new car developed in conjunction with French constructor Ligier in 2023, and be part of its race line-up when the car enters competition in the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship the following year.

Lamborghini head of motorsport Giorgio Sanna said: “We are especially proud to announce Mirko and Andrea as the first drivers for the LMDh programme.

“Both have contributed substantially to achieving historic results for Lamborghini in GT racing and their addition to the LMDh project also rewards their continued commitment to the Squadra Corse [Lamborghini’s racing division] family.

“I’m sure that their talent and experience will be an added asset to our competitiveness in the premier endurance class.”

Bortolotti’s successes with Lamborghini since he joined its factory line-up in 2016 include the overall 2017 Blancpain GT Championship (now known as the GT World Challenge Europe) sharing a Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with Christian Engelhart, and a pair of GT Daytona class wins at the Daytona 24 Hours in 2018 and '19.

“I’m so happy to continue my career with Lamborghini and to start an exciting new chapter,” said the 32-year-old Italian, who leads the DTM points with Grasser this year.

“I’m very grateful to Squadra Corse for making the LMDh project possible and for the unconditional trust they have put in me since 2014 [when he started racing Lamborghinis].

“Representing the brand on the most important endurance racing stage and competing for overall victory in the great endurance classics is both an honour and a responsibility.”

Andrea Caldarelli, Mirko Bortolotti, Lamborghini Factory Drivers

Andrea Caldarelli, Mirko Bortolotti, Lamborghini Factory Drivers

Photo by: Lamborghini S.p.A.

Bortolotti, who spent a year as factory driver with Lamborghini sister marque Audi in 2020, made his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this year at the wheel of WRT ORECA-Gibson 07 LMP2 in what was widely interpreted as a precursor to a role in the LMDh programme.

Caldarelli became a factory driver in 2017, the year in which he shared with Bortolotti and Engelhart in the Endurance Cup rounds of the BGTS.

The 32-year-old Italian claimed the overall GTWCE and Sprint Cup titles, as well as the BGTS Endurance Cup crown, together with Marco Mapelli at the wheel of a Huracan GT3 Evo run by the FFF Racing Team, of which he is also team principal.

“Back in 2017, when I started racing for Lamborghini, I had the goal of fulfilling my childhood dream: to race with my favourite brand of car in the most prestigious endurance races.

“I’m really excited about this new adventure and do my best to bring all my experience to this project and to win new and prestigious trophies.”

Lamborghini will not fund overt factory teams in either the WEC or IMSA when its LMDh comes on stream.

Instead, it will follow the model it has adopted in the GT3 ranks with the Huracan, providing a high level of support to customer operations.

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The announcement of the Bortolotti and Caldarelli is the third tranche of LMDh news from Lamborghini.

It took the lid of the programme in May and then revealed Ligier Automotive as its chassis partner in June.

The teams that will represent Lamborghini in WEC and IMSA have yet to be confirmed.

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