Porsche has run its LMDh car, now named the 963 (a nod to its illustrious forebear, the 962), in public for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The company’s works cars will be run in both IMSA and the WEC by Penske, and Porsche will also supply a maximum of four customer cars across both series, with the first customer team confirmed as JDC-Miller Motorsports with a single-car IMSA entry.
“After 7,889 test kilometers during the first half of 2022, we’re on a very good path but there is still work to be done before the start of next season,” outlined Thomas Laudenbach, Porsche’s VP of motorsport. “Our new Porsche 963 should continue the legacy of legendary models such as the 917, 935, 956, 962 and the 919 Hybrid. I’m positive that we’ll be well-positioned when it comes to technology, and we’ve also created the relevant team structures to set us up for wins in the thrilling competition between many manufacturers and different concepts.”
The official race debut of the Porsche 963 is planned to take place in January 2023 at the 24 Hours of Daytona in the USA. In the meantime, the FIA WEC has opened the door for testing as part of the upcoming world championship races this year. Porsche Penske Motorsport is aiming for a non-competitive dress rehearsal at the final round of the season in Bahrain this November.
“Over the past few months, our people at Porsche Motorsport and Team Penske have grown into an efficient and committed squad – the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team,” added Urs Kuratle, Porche’s director of factory motorsport LMDh. “We’ll have powerful driver crews in the four factory cars. The collaboration with our long-standing tire partner Michelin and the chassis manufacturer Multimatic works flawlessly. The Porsche 963 should be homologated this autumn. Until then, we want to make further progress with test drives and gain additional insights. We can hardly wait for our first outing.”
Porsche also confirmed that the 963’s 4.6-liter twin-turbo V8 is based on the unit from the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car. The foundations of that engine hark back to the RS Spyder LMP2 car with which Porsche and Team Penske notched up many victories between 2005 and 2008.
Click here to see the 963 in action.