Going the Distance – the road to the LMDh hybrid system
For the new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) prototypes, it all begins with a flying start at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January 2023. As the race gets rolling, the engineers and technicians of Bosch Motorsport will already have finished their own endurance race. It all started in 2019 when an order was placed for developing a uniform hybrid drive system for all race cars. Bosch Motorsport also acts as the overall system integrator. After less than three years, a pandemic, and several thousand hours of work, the highly complex prototypes are lining up for the actual start. In "Going the Distance," the core team at Bosch Motorsport gives us a unique look behind the scenes just a few weeks before the season opener.
Episode 1: setting the scale
The LMDh concept is anything but an ordinary development project for the world of racing. Naturally, this requires a special commitment and an equally special team. In the first episode, meet the people behind the system as they talk about the project's history and how important it is to motorsports and to them personally.
The team with more endurance: a core team of 50 people at Bosch Motorsport worked on the project, with additional support from a wide range of specialist departments from the entire Bosch Mobility Solutions business sector.
From a technical standpoint, what we developed was a hybrid system for these race cars. But what we really developed was a high-performing team.
Episode 2: Setbacks and Go-Aheads
Anything can happen in motorsport – and development is no different. But as in life, it's not about how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up. That's the spirit of endurance racing.
In Episode 2, the team talks about the ups and downs during development and what drives them to keep going.
Development marathon: Destination Daytona
There's nothing like hands-on testing. But test drives on real racetracks are time-consuming and expensive. On top of that, no drivable prototype is available at the start of system development. So how can you ensure that the components are up to the mammoth task of a 24-hour race? By putting an equally mammoth amount of effort into development. What also helps is: the best equipment, a lot of experience and even more passion, tenacity and perseverance.
The Bosch Motorsport team had all of this in store. From the initial theoretical planning and simulations, test bench and shaker tests to real driving trials, they fought their way from milestone to milestone – like the first fire-up of the fully integrated system in the race car. Now the final days of testing were on the agenda before the season opener at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Will the team successfully bring the three-year development marathon across the finish line?
Episode 3: Overcoming Obstacles
Teamwork makes the dream work and communication is key – truisms for some, absolute truth for our team. When the development marathon becomes a hurdle race, everything must run like a well-oiled machine.
In episode 3, our motorsport crew shows what it means to be a well-coordinated team during the final days of testing in Daytona.
At Home with Motorsport
Daytona International Speedway: The team is in its element. Troubleshooting in the pit lane while the data is already being analyzed in the trailer. Colleagues, partners, and technology are always closely connected. That's how it should be in the "Home of Motorsport.
Episode 4: In this Together
Between a rock and a hard place: developing a new type of hybrid system for a race car is already hard enough but designing it uniformly for all manufacturers while still accommodating all wishes and requirements as best as possible makes it the ultimate challenge. It remains exciting right to the end. In the final days of testing, Bosch Motorsport is as much in demand as ever: as a system developer, integrator, and mediator.
In episode 4, we talk to partners and manufacturers about what makes the LMDh so special to them. We discuss the collaboration and take a closer look at the system in our special test bench where we put it through its paces.
Episode 5: The finish line – part 1
There was still a lot to do after the last few days of testing, but the team gave everything once again. All that is left now is excitement and confidence. The system is ready, the teams are ready and so are the fans in the grandstands of the "Home of Motorsport". The Rolex 24 At Daytona are off and running. Will everything race and endure like the hearts of our teams?
In the first part of Episode 5, you can literally feel the tension. There's no turning back now. The race is on!
Episode 5: The finish line – part 2
As the clock runs down and the laps pile on, the tension of the last few years falls off our team's shoulders. The system and the new prototypes are a complete success. Now it's time to let everything sink in, celebrate, and recharge the batteries. They really went the distance and came out closer and stronger than ever. But as in endurance racing, this is only the beginning.
In part 2 of episode 5, the race is coming to an end. After a sleep-deprived night, the tension increases with each passing hour. Will all the prototypes make it to the finish line – and in what position?
More about the LMDh hybrid system
If you want to discover more about the hybrid system, you've come to the right place.