Hyundai to enter WEC and IMSA with LMDh racing car

According to media reports, Hyundai is about to enter the WEC and IMSA. The Koreans’ long-distance plans are apparently already well advanced.

Robert Seiwert

Robert Seiwert

Head of Motorsport

Robert was already writing for sports media before his time at MSM. He has been reporting on DTM, Daytona, Le Mans and other events directly from the racetrack since 2011.MORE

Hyundai N 2025 Gran Turismo Concept
Hyundai N 2025: From Gran Turismo concept car to the WEC?, Photo: Hyundai

Will another car manufacturer join the already spectacular starting field of the WEC? The rumors are getting stronger and stronger that Hyundai, another brand, could enter the World Endurance Championship. ‘Motorsport aktuell’ has already reported the South Koreans’ upcoming involvement as a done deal, and French media are also convinced.

According to reports, Hyundai is aiming to build an LMDh racing car in accordance with the US IMSA regulations. Porsche, BMW and Cadillac also drive such prototypes with standard hybrid drives in the IMSA and WEC. Speculations say that Hyundai will use its LMDh cars under its own name in the WEC, while the vehicles will be raced in the IMSA under the name ‘Genesis’ – Hyundai’s luxury offshoot.

Jackie Ickx as the face of the new performance department

In keeping with this, the group’s subsidiary Genesis is getting its own performance department for series production, which is called ‘Magma’. It’s basically the Korean equivalent of M GmbH at BMW or AMG at Mercedes-Benz. To underline the sporting claim, Belgian Jackie Ickx was chosen as the brand ambassador for this project – motorsport icon and six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Apparently, the plans at Hyundai and Genesis are already well advanced. The combustion engine is said to come from Pipo Moteurs. The French engine manufacturer has already developed the WEC units for Glickenhaus in the past and is currently supplying Hyundai’s WRC factory cars in the World Rally Championship. The LMDh chassis is said to come from either Dallara or Oreca.

Hyundai Motorsport Director Like last year, Cyril Abiteboul was spotted in the paddock at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is said to have met with officials from the ACO – the WEC and Le Mans organizer. Rumors of Hyundai’s involvement in the WEC have been around for some time, most recently fueled in 2023 with the appointment of Francois-Xavier Demaison as the new technical director. ‘FX’ previously held the same role at the Williams Formula 1 racing team and at Volkswagen Motorsport when the Wolfsburg-based company won the World Rally Championship four times in a row.

Hyundai N 2025 Gran Turismo Concept
Hyundai N 2025 Concept for Gran Tursimo, Photo: Hyundai

Hyundai: Hypercars instead of hydrogen cars in the WEC?

In the past, Hyundai is said to have expressed interest in entering the hydrogen class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which has been announced for several years. It is still not clear whether fuel cells or hydrogen combustion engines will be the choice. Hyundai is said to no longer be so enthusiastic about the H2 project on long distances and instead prefers to start in the Hypercar class or in the GTP category of the IMSA.

Given the development time, starting in 2026 seems sensible, although ‘Motorsport aktuell’ does not want to rule out an earlier start. There are reportedly already negotiations with Chip Ganassi Racing, which will separate from Cadillac as a racing team at the end of the year. The current Porsche customer team Jota will take over the Caddy factory operations in the future.

One thing is certain: Aston Martin is already a new brand in the starting blocks for 2025. Find out in this article why the British company is creating a long-awaited innovation in endurance racing with its Valkyrie hypercar:

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