The German manufacturer, which has won Le Mans more than any other marque or team, and at Goodwood SpeedWeek presented by Mastercard earlier this year celebrated 50 years since its first La Sarthe win, had previously said it was evaluating the new LMDh class.
The news follows the announcement that fellow VAG brand Audi is also returning to Le Mans (it has the second highest number of wins), also picking the LMDh category. This means that Porsche and Audi join Toyota, Glickenhaus and Peugeot in confirming upcoming projects – with the latter trio racing in the LMH class.
LMDh is the successor to the current DPi regulations that govern the top class of the American IMSA sportscar championship. Based on LMP2 chassis, with manufacturers allowed to provide custom engines and aerodynamic elements the category has proven more popular than LMP1, with Cadillac, Acura, Nissan and Mazda all battling for DPi crowns with both manufacturer-backed and customer teams. The new category, featuring a hybrid system, will begin competing in 2023, and will be eligible for both IMSA and WEC championships, marking the first time the US and Worldwide branches of sportscar racing have united at the top level since 2013.
Toyota, Glickenhaus and Peugeot have committed to racing in the WEC and at Le Mans with the ACO’s Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) class, which allows prototypes based on either pure racing platforms to race at the top level. Both LMDh and LMH will be eligible to fight for the championship and will be made competitive by a Balance of Performance system.
Confirming that Porsche’s programme will start at the 2023 Daytona 24, Pascal Zurliden, head of factory motorsport at Porsche, said: “The best way to look at it is to look at the Daytona Prototype international class in IMSA – you can see outstanding racing at a high level but at reasonable cost.
"The LMDh concept allows Porsche to continue to showcase the brand's DNA, which is going endurance racing.
"We can contest both championships and the biggest endurance races in the world with one car."
While Porsche revealed a teaser image of what it’s 2023 contender might look like, Zurliden confirmed that important decisions – including which LMP2 chassis to base the new LMDh car on, and what engine to use, have yet to be made.