Sebastian Vettel to test Porsche 963 hypercar

22nd March 2024
Russell Campbell

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will test a works Porsche 963 hypercar run by American outfit Penske Motorsport at the Motorland Aragón circuit in Spain.


Vettel, who retired from F1 in 2022, has already tested the Porsche on the simulator and at Porsche’s R&D Centre in Weissach, Germany, but next week’s 36-hour run will be his best opportunity yet to get his teeth into a new car.

The test is the 53-time grand prix winner’s first chance to experience life from the cockpit of a hypercar, but the 963 itself campaigned last year in the North American IMSA Sportscar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, taking three wins in the former last year. The car kicked off the 2024 season with wins in both championships.


Vettel said: “I’m looking forward to testing the Porsche 963. I already got the chance to get a feel for the car during a rollout in Weissach. I’ve always followed other racing series and my curiosity for endurance events encouraged me to just give it a shot.

“Now I’m excited about the long run in Aragon, and I’m looking forward to my time behind the wheel. It’ll definitely take an adjustment and some getting used to but everyone in the team is very open and helps me. This will be a new experience for me. We will then see what happens next in this respect – at the moment there are no further plans for the future.”


Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport commented:  “We’re delighted that Sebastian Vettel is interested in our Porsche 963.

“There was no question for us that we’d be thrilled to support his request for an opportunity to test and provide him with extensive preparation and plenty of time to drive our hybrid prototype – there’s no doubt we’ll learn a lot from his valuable feedback. Our 36-hour long run with Porsche Penske Motorsport and our works drivers at Motorland Aragón offers a perfect environment for this.”


To prepare for Spain, Vettel spent two days at the Porsche Penske Motorsport facility in Mannheim, meeting engineers and testing on the simulator to familiarise himself with the controls of the Le Mans prototype. He then stretched the car’s legs on the company’s in-house test track. After 299 Grand Prix starts, it was Vettel’s first opportunity to drive a tin top in anger, aside from his appearance at the Race of Champions and when providing demo drives.

Works drivers Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frédéric Makowiecki, Kévin Estre, André Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor will join Vettel at the 5km Motorland Aragón circuit. Le Mans runs from the 15th to the 16th of June as Porsche guns for its 20th outright victory at the event.


Porsche Penske Motorsport will enter three 963s at the endurance classic in 2024, and Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet has already confirmed his participation in his home event in the #4 car.

Customer teams Hertz Team Jota and Proton Competition have entered three more Porsche 963 race cars, while two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs campaigned by Manthey EMA and Manthey Pure Rxcing will take on the new LMGT3 category.

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