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Why You Should be Excited for This Year’s Daytona 24

Written by Michael Randall, Edited by Simran Kanthi

There are a lot of interesting activities that have been happening in the world of sports car racing recently. Some of the major changes have come in regard to the brand new LMH or LMDh class. Now the class that races at the Daytona 24 is the LMDh and most of the main rulesets are mostly the same, but some things are a little different like the LMDh cars can only have hybrid power going to the front wheels. Other than those minor differences, the two classes are going to be competitive with each other. Now the four main cars entering LMDh are doing so for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, a series made almost exclusively of American tracks (only one Canadian race to add on). The four manufacturers of LMDh are Porsche with their 963, with a 4.6-litre twin-turbocharged V8. Then there is Cadillac, which is also back for the season with its V-LMDh, a 5-litre naturally aspirated V8. Then there is BMW making its return to prototype racing with the M Hybrid V8, which is not surprisingly powered by a 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8. The final entry for the LMDh category for this season is Acura with their DPi championship of last season bringing the ARX-06, powered by a 2.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6. This is all very exciting as we head into the first race of the season.

Credit: Michael Levitt

There have been many challenges brought along by the fact that these are new cars and that Porsche will not be able to field some of their cars for Daytona. This is due to high demand but the Penske cars will be fielded for this race. While other customers like JDC-Miller cars will have to jump to a Nissan-powered LMP3 car for the race while Proton Racing will be focused on their GTD efforts. All of the other competitors should be able to run all of their cars for the start of the series.

One of the most exciting things to look forward to is the diversity of the cars. If we look back into the past, we see that most of the LMP1 class of cars ran with dwindling numbers. The class was too expensive and the tech at the time was newer with hybrid technologies. With the new LMDh and LMH, it is going to be cheaper by almost 12.5 million Euros. Then, there is the diversity in the body style as we see the different looks like the differences between the Porsche 963 and the radically different Peugeot 9X8. Hopefully, the differences in the way the cars look are seen in the way that they race too. Also, the differences in the engines are going to be exciting with a lot of V8s and there are going to be some other engines that are required to have at most 650 HP. We are going to be seeing a lot of manufacturers that left the sport years ago coming back like BMW and one we have already seen, Peugeot. There is also, as the class grows, a growing interest in the top flight of endurance racing.

Credit: Michael Levitt

All of this culminates in a race where we see four new cars race and two manufacturers come back to the top class of endurance racing. There is also the fact that GTD has been running the new GT3s since last year and this is something that can show us a glimpse of what Le Mans 2023 can look like, adding on the four other manufacturers who will be racing there, although BMW is not going to Le Mans this year. This is exciting and we shall see what the future holds for WEC and IMSA and how popular the series can become with the new cars.

Credit: Michael Levitt


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