Porsche Unveils 963 LMDh Prototype At Goodwood

German carmaker Porsche unveiled the 963 LMDh Prototype at the Goodwood festival of speed in England. Being an LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) car, it is set to race in IMSA’s GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class as well as in FIA’s WEC (World Endurance Championship) in 2023, with a debut lined up for the 24 hours of Daytona in January 2023. The car will also enter the coveted 24 hours of Le Mans in 2023.

The testing of 963 began during the first half of 2022, and the racecar is set to be homologated this autumn. The 963 underwent testing at the Porsche Motorsport headquarters, and has completed 7,889 km on the road. Vice President of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach said, “we’re on a very good path, but there is still work to be done before the start of next season”. “Our new Porsche 963 should continue the legacy of legendary models such as the 917, 935, 956, 962 and the 919”, he explained.

The Porsche 963 LMDh Prototype will be sold for $2.9 million to customer teams as well, and Porsche said that in that cost, it will also provide “spare parts on site, an engineering truck on site, 5, 6, 7 engineers, and we will figure out now with teams what is what they think it is needed. But that service is always there. And it’s always for free”.

The design hails from the victorious classics by Porsche, including the 956 and 962 from the 1980’s. The livery is a tribute to Porsche’s race cars, and is sporting the traditional white, red and black colours. The car has a low slung and sleek profile synonymous to the LMDh class, and features many aerodynamically enhancing details, like small carbon winglets on the roof, a roof scoop, a shark fin wing behind the cockpit, and a big fat rear wing. The car has a 4.6 litre twin turbo V8 hybrid engine at its heart, which has a combined output of 680 bhp.

Porsche first raced at Le Mans in 1949, and since then it raced there for 66 years without a break, recording 19 victories thanks to six legendary racing cars. After a hiatus of 5 years, Porsche is one of four manufacturers lined up to race in the new top classes of sports cars. With no confirmation of Audi’s plans to race at Le Mans, rumors say that it the Volkswagen owned brand will join the Formula 1 grid by 2026. Audi recently also tried to buy a stake in the McLaren F1 team, but was unsuccessful in doing so. However, Volkswagen CEO has since announced that both Audi & Porsche will enter F1 in 2026, but it remains to be seen how the two brands achieve the same.

Source link