Porsche delays race debut, won’t be in Bahrain

The presence of the Porsche 963 at the 8 Hours of Bahrain, the final round of the 2022 WEC season, was not official, but the possibility of seeing the competition debut of the German Hypercar from Sakhir was strong. In March, on the occasion of the opening of the season in Sebring (United States), the FIA ​​noted that the new generation of prototypes had the authorization to run from this year.  » To ensure the seamless introduction of cars built to the LMDh technical regulations in 2023, the Council has approved these cars in the Hypercar category of the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship this year, on a race-by-race system, meaning they won’t be able to score points in 2022 “, indicated the International Automobile Federation at the time.

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Porsche being at the time the only LMDh to be born, the Stuttgart manufacturer was the perfect choice to take advantage of this open door.  » It’s an interesting opportunity, but it’s still too early to decide whether we’ll take it or not.told us Thomas Laudenbach, director of motorsport for the German firm, on the sidelines of the 1000 Miles of Sebring. We will investigate this possibility, but the car must not only be able to drive, it must be able to race. Development time obliges, the 8 Hours of Bahrain, on November 12, was then the only possible date.

 » The probability of seeing us there is indeed more than very high, Jonathan Diuguid, director of management of Team Penske, the team that will be in charge of operating Porsche’s factory LMDhs in the 2023 World Endurance Championship, even dropped us when the livery and drivers were revealed. at Goodwood. We have to make sure that the car will be reliable enough beforehand, but you can never be sure of the potential of the team and the car until you have competed in a single race. The first opportunity will be Bahrain this year. We are going to approach it as a life-size test session, a trial run, with the desire to push the equipment in a competition context. But no conclusions should be drawn from the Bahrain event. »

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No one will be able to tell, because the latest echoes from Daytona, where the prototype underwent two days of testing on the American circuit along with the other manufacturers expected in the IMSA GTP category in 2023 (Acura, BMW, Cadillac ), indicate that Porsche has decided to delay its racing debut. Despite 2,000 more kilometers added to the counter of the German, who also rode at Monza recently, she will wait for the double tour of Florida (January 26-29, 2023) to make her big debut in competition. The Porsche 963 will also not be at the next North American Endurance Championship tests, October 3-5 at Road Atlanta. These are not mandatory for the different LMDh manufacturers.

The Porsche 963 would currently have more than 16,000 test kilometers divided between the two chassis used for the driving sessions. The goal is to reach the 30,000 mark before the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona.

VIDEO – The Porsche 963 tested at Monza

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