The Lamborghini SC63 had its official debut at last weekend’s World Endurance Championship season-opener, the Qatar 1812km (main image). While the results weren’t amazing, the car finished the race, which is no mean feat. Next weekend it will be America’s turn to see the car in action when it has its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The drivers are eager to get underway, even as they temper their expectations.

“Considering the amount of time we were spending with the car, I would say we feel quite confident … I think we would have dreamed in July, August about being that confident to go to the first round, which is good,” said Andrea Caldarelli, who will drive the No. 63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63 in WeatherTech Championship competition with Romain Grosjean and Matteo Cairoli.

“But we have to be realistic. We know that the others have over a year experience within the category and and the championship and everything, so we know that we’re going to join something that already started before us. We have to be humble in that, but I think we can be confident in the package that we have. We still have to work on items that are not yet developed, so it’s going to be a bit of a work in progress at the beginning.”

The SC63 was developed with Ligier as Lamborghini’s chassis partner. In addition to the spec hybrid components from Bosch, Williams and Xtrac, power comes form a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine in a “cold V” configuration, meaning that the turbos are mounted outside the vee angle of the engine.

Lamborghini chose to skip the Rolex 24 at Daytona because it felt the car, first revealed last summer, wouldn’t be ready. Developing the car at the IMSA homologation test at Daytona in December, followed immediately by a test at COTA (which will host WEC in September), the drivers felt that the car was progressing nicely, and they were especially glad to get some wet weather at COTA. Caldarelli admits that it would have been nice to have Daytona to work out some bugs, as other teams and manufacturers did last year, but the timeline would have been too compressed.

“I remember this race last year for the category was new, the cars that were new, so I think everyone use the first race as a benchmark, as a test, really,” he said. “I remember Porsche spending a lot of time in the garage. So I would say yes, we miss coming but not in a sporting way – more like experience. It’s definitely a miss, but I think we did the right choice. We were not ready yet to come. It would have been way too rushed.”

Grosjean, who has been easing back into sports car racing through Lamborghini and Iron Lynx’s GT program, is feeling good about the car’s prospects.

“The whole testing program has gone really well, from the test in Spain to the one in December in the U.S.,” said Grosjean during the Rolex week. “There is still a long list of things we need to work on. But generally it’s been it’s been very positive. I’ve really enjoyed driving the car. It’s been good and reliability has been better than I really imagined it could be, so very positive on all those aspects. There’s one session for the IMSA program prior to the debut, so hopefully those those last few days could can help us define a little bit more setup and start to go racing.”

The best opportunity prior to Qatar to gauge how the car might stack up against the competition came at the December test at Daytona, and while Grosjean notes that Iron Lynx was focusing on longer runs that the other teams didn’t need to test, he still got a feel for strengths and weaknesses.

“I felt like the straight line speed was decent  and the car was behaving really well in traffic,” he said. “Were we the fastest? I don’t think so. But we weren’t miles off.”

The single-car Iron Lynx SC63 entry at Sebring is the first of four races in which the car will appear in 2024. From there, the Lamborghini and the team plan on contesting the rest of the endurance races – The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the six-hour Battle on the Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.