The Porsche 963 LMDh successfully passes its tests at Daytona

The Porsche 963 LMDh has successfully passed its first full-scale tests on the legendary Daytona Speedway track. Complicated but formative tests for the new weapon of Zuffenhausen in Endurance.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans, the WEC (World Endurance Championship) and the IMSA championship are preparing big changes with the new Hypercars and LMDh categories. Many manufacturers are returning to competition and others are arriving for the first time.

Peugeot and Ferrari will be in Hypercars with their own chassis while Lamborghini for example will arrive on an LMDh chassis. The same goes for Porsche, a little to the general disappointment, which we would have liked to see return to its own chassis.

However, the manufacturer has just passed life-size tests to its 963 LMDh at Daytona Speedway.

The Porsche 963 LMDh

The 963 is powered by a 4.6-liter twin-turbo hybrid V8 borrowed from the 918 Spyder which develops the maximum power authorized by the LMDh regulations, i.e. 680 hp.

It is based on a chassis developed by Multimatic that the German manufacturer coaches and motorizes. Porsche confirmed that it will also participate in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Porsche Penske Motorsport is preparing for its first competition and has, to do so, tested the 963 LMDh prototype on the Daytona International Speedway circuit in Florida.

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Complicated trials

Over two days the car covered 397 laps of the track including the famous banked corners of the circuit as well as the winding track located inside the ring. It means that the Porsche 963 has covered a total of 2,274 kmroughly the distance from Stuttgart to Istanbul.

Although the car ran without major problems, the test was anything but smooth. For its first full-scale circuit test, the Porsche 963 LMDh was delayed 90 minutes from the start due to lightning events near the track. Under US law, race marshals were forced to find shelter.

Once the race started, temperatures fluctuated around 35°C with more than 90% humidity, pushing the team to its limits. Intermittent showers added to the difficulties. Not enough to panic the German manufacturer who asserts that these types of stress are the ideal conditions to test an endurance racing car.

Factory drivers Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet shared the wheel of the number 3 car during its two days, under the watchful eye of Roger Penske. During this test, the team refined the way drivers, mechanics and engineers interact together, in addition to improving the configuration of the 963.

It is important because the first race of the Porsche 963 LMDh will take place on this same track on January 28 and 29 during the 24 Hours of Daytona. This explains why the team ran the car until 10 p.m. on the last day of testing

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