Porsche’s new hybrid Le Mans car breaks cover as testing begins

The LMDh regulations cap the cars' downforce:drag ratio, so designers don't have to spend as much time worrying about aerodynamics and can use more road car styling cues. Not that you can really make that out on this wrapped prototype.

Enlarge / The LMDh regulations cap the cars’ downforce:drag ratio, so designers don’t have to spend as much time worrying about aerodynamics and can use more road car styling cues. Not that you can really make that out on this wrapped prototype. (credit: Porsche)

If there were any doubts about Porsche taking its return to prototype racing seriously, they’re now gone.

The company’s new car is not due to race in earnest until this time next year; in fact, it’s so early in the car’s development that it hasn’t been officially named. But that hasn’t stopped the automaker, together with Penske Racing, from starting the new car’s track testing program ahead of competing in two championship series in 2023, beginning with next year’s 24-hour race at Daytona in Florida.

“The rollout of the LMDh racing car was also the first track outing for Porsche Penske Motorsport,” said Urs Kuratle, project manager for Porsche’s LMDh program. “The squad worked well together right from the start. This shows a high level of professionalism in all areas. After all, the operational requirements for the safe running of a hybrid vehicle are very high. In the next outings, we will focus on going deeper into the required processes and procedures. During these first test days at Weissach, the V8-biturbo impressed us in every respect. We’re convinced that we’ve chosen precisely the right unit.”

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