Le Mans 24 Hours: What are LMH and LMDh? Teams, Driver Lineup Explained

Le Mans 24-Hour Race: There has been a surge of manufacturer curiosity around the LMDh method. It all started with Porsche and its 963, but soon after Cadillac, Acura, and BMW got to work on their own versions.

By Divyam Dubey | on June 9, 2023 Follow us on Autox Google News

Le Mans 24-Hour Race: The 91st running of the Le Mans 24 Hours this year is the centennial edition since it coincides with the centenary of the race's debut running in 1923. In addition, the 2023 World Endurance Championship race will include a leading category of automobiles suited for such an event, with 16 entries from seven companies in the Hypercar class, from which the overall victor will emerge barring an almost unique combination of circumstances. That means that there are two sets of regulations that a manufacturer may use to create a vehicle for the highest class in the series. This year's Hypercar lineup at Le Mans includes 16 vehicles, 9 of which are LMHs and 6 of which are LMDhs. However, numerous uncertainties surround these cutting-edge courses. Here's a handy infographic that covers the basics of those projects.

Also Read: Le Mans 24 Hours: Ferrari Takes Front Row, Porsche Secures Top Position for LMDh Prototype in Hyperpole

Le Mans 24 Hours: LMH vs LMDh

Le Mans 24 Hours Ferrari 1

Both LMDh and LMH refer to Le Mans Daytona Hybrid and Le Mans Hypercar, respectively. In the FIA World Endurance Championship, both cars will compete in the Hypercar category. The Le Mans race will use LMH vehicles. LMDh constructors, on the other hand, must still have a choice whether or not to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Both the WEC and IMSA championships imply this category, however, some teams would prefer to compete for the IMSA title than the WEC.

With LMH, a carmaker may create its own vehicle from the ground up, or rather the front end all the way to the back. Everything associated with the hybrid system, if present, must be located in front of the vehicle's wheels. The Toyotas, the Peugeots, and the Ferraris are all four-wheel drive, while the Glickenhauses and the Vanwalls are rear-wheel drive non-hybrids.

Le Mans 24 Hours 11

In order to compete in LMDh, teams must rely heavily on commercially available parts. The car's monocoque and suspension must be one of the four licenced builders' latest generation LMP2 designs. These constructors are ORECA, Dallara, Ligier, and Multimatic. 

All vehicles share a hybrid system mounted behind the back axle. Bosch provides the motor generator unit (MGU), Williams Advanced Engineering provides the battery, and Xtrac manufactures the gearbox; all three companies collaborated on the overall design. The manufacturer is responsible for the development of the aerodynamics, provides the internal combustion component of the engine, and is free to design the electronics as it sees fit.

Despite having very varied designs, all of the vehicles must adhere to the identical performance standards set out in the regulations. The performance windows within which each vehicle must fall are a core concept of both the LMH and LMDh. Maximum power and aerodynamic downforce and drag objectives are the same.

Le Mans 24 Hours Porsche 2

Allowing the manufacturer to create vehicles with a unique appearance and use aesthetic elements from their road cars is a major concept of both LMH and LMDh regulations. The most extreme example is the rear wingless, futuristic Peugeot 9X8 LMH. 

Le Mans 24 Hours: Hypercar Teams

Before Peugeot joined the Hypercar class after Le Mans last year, Toyota was the only major manufacturer to compete in the class for its first season and a half. The Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 LMH and an Alpine-Gibson A480 LMP1 vehicle were the only competition the Japanese company had faced up to that point. It was a slowed-down version of the ORECA design previously raced as the Rebellion R-13 to compete with the LMHs.

Sr No. Car No. Team Car Drivers
1 2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R Earl Bamber
Alex Lynn
Richard Westbrook
2 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R Sebastien Bourdais
Renger van der Zande
Scott Dixon
3 4 Floyd Vanwall Racing Team Vanwall Vandervell 680 Tom Dillmann
Esteban Guerrieri
Tristan Vautier
4 5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 Dane Cameron
Michael Christensen
Frederic Makowiecki
5 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 Kevin Estre
Andre Lotterer
Laurens Vanthoor
6 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Hybrid Mike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez
7 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Hybrid Sebastien Buemi
Brendon Hartley
Ryo Hirakawa
8 38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 Yifei Ye
Antonio Felix da Costa
Will Stevens
9 50  Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P Antonio Fuoco
Miguel Molina
Nicklas Nielsen
10 51  Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P Alessandro Pier Guidi
James Calado
Antonio Giovinazzi
11 75 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 Felipe Nasr
Nick Tandy
Mathieu Jaminet
12 93 Peugeot TotalEnergies Peugeot 9X8 Paul di Resta
Mikkel Jensen
Jean-Eric Vergne
13 94 Peugeot TotalEnergies Peugeot 9X8 Loic Duval
Gustavo Menezes
Nico Muller
14 311 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R Pipo Derani
Alexander Sims
Jack Aitken
15 708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 Romain Dumas
Olivier Pla
Ryan Briscoe
16 709 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 Franck Mailleux
Nathanael Berthon
Esteban Gutierrez

Also Read: Le Mans 24 Hours: When & Where to Watch the Prestigious Endurance Race in India

There has been a flurry of manufacturer interest in the LMDh formula. It all started with Porsche and its 963, but soon after Cadillac, Acura, and BMW got to work on their own versions. Acura, a division of Honda, and BMW will race only in North America in 2023, but BMW will enter the World Endurance Championship the following year. 

Le Mans 24 Hours 2  jpg

Lamborghini and Alpine will also debut the following year. Starting in 2024, Lamborghini will compete in both the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA.

Tags: Le Mans Le Mans 24 Hours Le Mans 24 Hours Hypercars Ferrari Ferrari 499P Porsche 963 Porsche Hypercar class Hypercar Toyota GR010 HYBRID Toyota GR010 Cadillac V-Series.R Glickenhaus 007 Peugeot 9X8 Vanwall Vandervell 680

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