DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Lamborghini has set quite the standard with the first versions of its Huracán GT3 in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition. The Italian manufacturer believes it will up its game even more when the Huracán GT3 EVO2 takes to the track in competition for the first time at the 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
By Mark Robinson
Among the achievements of the first two evolutions of the car in the GT Daytona (GTD) class are three consecutive Rolex 24 wins (2018-20), back-to-back manufacturer championships (2018-19), driver and team titles in 2018 and WeatherTech Sprint Cup manufacturer championship in 2021. Giorgio Sanna, head of Lamborghini Motorsport, is confident more honors lie ahead with the Huracán GT3 EVO2.
“We have great expectations about the Huracán GT3 EVO2 debut,” Sanna said. “The previous generation leaves an important heritage and we are truly motivated to get more trophies and successes with the new model.”
As with its predecessors, the Huracán GT3 EVO2 was designed and developed by Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse at Sant’Agata Bolognese in Italy. The EVO2 race car is based on the street-going Huracán STO, sharing important design elements, rear-wheel drive and a naturally aspirated V-10 engine that delivers 640 horsepower.
Highlights of changes in the EVO2 include improved aerodynamic efficiency with a new splitter, rear diffuser and carbon fiber floor, an updated braking system and new air intake system. Sanna emphasized that the new racer is “not just an evolution, it’s a brand-new car,” though upgrades for the current Huracán chassis are available.
Perhaps the most noticeable change comes with the unmistakable hexagonal air scoop design and rear fin derived from Huracán STO. The air scoop is connected to a snorkel, replacing the side air intakes and channeling the airflow directly into the engine, resulting in a more efficient intake system and greater responsiveness. The introduction of 10 electronically actuated throttle bodies increases the efficiency of the 5.2-liter V-10 engine with titanium valves.
Lamborghini factory driver Andrea Caldarelli, a winner at the 2020 Rolex 24 driving for Paul Miller Racing, helped develop the Huracán GT3 EVO2 and sensed the improvement.
“This gives a much better throttle responsiveness and suits every kind of driving style demands,” Caldarelli said when the car was introduced to the public in May.
The braking system has been updated with new calipers and pads designed by Squadra Corse to optimize performance in both endurance and sprint races. Combined with dedicated traction control and anti-lock braking systems (ABS), it makes the car easier to control in low-grip conditions, even for gentlemen drivers.
Other innovations include the rear wing, which is mounted on aluminum alloy pillars inspired by those on the STO. The new supports allow for greater precision in wing adjustments compared to the EVO model.
“Developing a new racing car is always challenging, especially when the car is already a great product,” Caldarelli said. “But again, the Squadra Corse engineers, they delivered the job. … This is a perfect machine for both endurance and sprint races. High performance and easy to drive, it’s perfect either if you are a pro or amateur driver.”
Sanna, the head of Lamborghini Motorsport, said the plan is for there to be five Huracán GT3 EVO2 cars on the grid for the Rolex 24 in January, split between the GTD and GTD PRO classes. The bigger picture for Lamborghini sees the more direct link between racetrack achievements and the inspiring passenger car line.
“The new Huracán GT3 EVO2 is not simply an evolution of the current car,” Sanna said. “It’s a new project that reinforces the technological transfer between Lamborghini’s motorsport division and the company and inherits two difficult tasks: to prove as successful as the previous generations of Huracán GT3, which have won more than 40 international titles in six seasons, and to match its commercial success by helping to reach the target of (building and selling) 500 Huracán racing cars since 2015.”
The 2023 WeatherTech Championship season kicks off with Roar Before the Rolex 24 testing from Jan. 20-22 on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. The 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona is set for Jan. 28-29.