IMSA’s new-for-2022 LMDh prototype formula is facing a likely delay that would push its full-season competition debut to 2023.
Under the original schedule for LMDh, the lengthy timelines required to produce the new kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) from Bosch and Williams Advanced Engineering, and new gearboxes from Xtrac, were expected to be met. In kind, the arrival and distribution of IMSA’s ‘Hybrid Powertrain System’ would have allowed for LMDh to be introduced at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January of 2022.
But after experiencing the months-long, sport-wide shutdowns that have followed in the wake of COVID-19, and ongoing staffing limitations within the factories, RACER has learned the timeline for supplying the manufacturer-commissioned LMDh field with KERS units has moved to the middle of 2022.
Although the series has not made a formal declaration of LMDh’s delay, the aforementioned production challenges leave the series in a position where a full-time shift to LMDh in 2023 could be inevitable. If LMDh’s introduction is rescheduled for 2023, the current DPi field, represented by entries from Acura, Cadillac, and Mazda, would be expected to continue through the 2022 season.
Provided LMDh manufacturers have cars readied for 2022, and IMSA’s Hybrid Powertrain System arrives as anticipated while the season is already in motion, a possibility also exists for the class to run alongside DPi. Whether the series would consider a mid-season debut for LMDh, most likely as a non-points category, is unknown.