GRR

Porsche 963 2023 Le Mans challenger revealed at FOS

23rd June 2022
Ethan Jupp

You know a brave new era of top-level endurance racing is upon us when Porsche shows its hand. Here at the 2022 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, that’s exactly what’s happened. Porsche LMDh becomes Porsche 963, its next challenger for both IMSA and WEC, both Daytona and Le Mans.

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It’s revealed in all its glory too, wearing the typical Porsche colour scheme of white, red and black. The livery calls back to past Porsche racers, from the 919 to the original 917 Le Mans winner of 1970, which scored Porsche’s first win at La Sarthe wearing red and white.

As we’ve reported previously, the German marque is collaborating with US racing titan Team Penske to create Porsche Penske Motorsport, who will be fielding two pairs of cars on both sides of the Atlantic in IMSA and WEC. The IMSA 963s will be getting their race debut in January 2023, at the 24 Hours of Daytona, while the European contingent will be having what Porsche calls a ‘non-competitive dress rehearsal’ in Bahrain in November. Needless to say, the team ought to be well worn-in in time for its crack at Le Mans in just under a year’s time.

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New technical details are indeed interesting. The 963’s engine for instance will be a 4.6-litre twin-turbo V8, which is a derivation of the engine used in the 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar. That engine in turn was a development of the unit used in the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 car of the late 2000s, with which Porsche and Penske last saw a great deal of success working together, not least with an overall win at the Sebring 12 Hours.

The chassis per LMDh rules is LMP2-derived, with Porsche collaborating with Multimatic. Hybrid systems come as standard from Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac, with total system output never exceeding 680PS (500kW). The car has during the first half of this year covered almost 8,000km in testing. The car is “on a very good path but there is still work to be done before the start of next season,” according to Thomas Laudenbach, Porsche Vice President of Motorsport. 

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A fine pool of talent will be spread across the IMSA and WEC programmes, with driver lineups including Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor, Matt Cambell, Mathieu Jaminet, Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr.

Lotterer took the reigns in a Le Mans-winning 962 this evening at the Festival of Speed, getting a first-hand education of the 963's direct predecessor. We wonder how the two compare in terms of feel... The 963 will also be sold to customer teams, with the first squads announcing their programs imminently. They’ll be fielding cars from the first year.

Are you excited to see Porsche back at the sharp end of endurance racing? It and its customer teams won’t be alone, with both Peugeot and Ferrari joining it at Le Mans next year, alongside defending winners Toyota and SCG. We can’t wait to see top-end endurance racing grids healthily stocked once again.

  • Porsche

  • 963

  • Festival of Speed

  • FOS 2022

  • LMDh

  • Le Mans

  • Daytona 24

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