Porsche is back in Endurance racing in 2023!

Porsche will make its big comeback at the top of endurance with a double WEC / IMSA program in 2023. A new LMDh (Hypercar) prototype will be built with the ambition to shine in the championship and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans!

After a long evaluation phase, the Motorsport department received the green light from the board of directors of Porsche AG to start the development of an LMDh prototype based on the new regulations.

The Stuttgart brand explains having welcomed the introduction of the new class reserved for hybrid prototypes. From 2023, LMDhs will be the premier class of both the WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech North American Sports Car Championship alongside the Hypercars.

Based on an improved LMP2 chassis, the cars will weigh around 1,000 kilograms and will be fitted with a hybrid system with a power output of 500 kW (680 hp). Chassis will be supplied by four different manufacturers (Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and Oreca), each brand being free to choose the concept of the combustion engine and the design of the body within the framework of the regulations imposed by the organizers. The major objective of this new class is to achieve an advantageous cost-effectiveness ratio.

LMDh as a technological bridge

« In the medium term, Porsche is focusing on three different driving concepts: fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and combustion engines », explains Michael Steiner, member of the board of directors for research and development at Porsche AG.

“We want to represent this trilogy both in the development of our advanced road cars and in motorsport. We use, on the one hand, the fully electric propulsion in Formula E and, on the other hand, the combustion engine in GT. With LMDh, the gap between the two technologies is closed. Powerful hybrid engines – like those fitted in many models of our brand – will compete on the track. If the regulations allowed the use of synthetic fuels, that would be an even bigger incentive for me in terms of sustainability. « 

Porsche has not raced in Endurance and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a factory since 2017 and the end of a good period with the famous 919 Hybrid, marked by three victories in the Sarthe and three coronations of drivers and manufacturers.

A future that looks great

The overhaul of the categories at the top of the endurance pyramid therefore continues to arouse the interest of major brands. From 2021, the “hypercars”, whose chassis are entirely designed by the manufacturers or teams involved, will be alongside the “LMDh” (Le Mans Daytona hybrid), regulations aligned with the American IMSA to promote synergies.

To date, Toyota, Peugeot (in Hypercar), Audi and now Porsche (in LMDh) have confirmed their commitment to the premier category of WEC 2.0, alongside the more modest byKolles and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG). Aston Martin could eventually join the adventure but had recently had to revise its plans, refocusing its attention for the moment on Formula 1.

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