STUTTGART, Germany – The Executive Board at Porsche AG has given the green light for the development of an LMDh prototype.
Porsche Motorsport received the order to build a vehicle based on the future regulations that will be the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship beginning in 2023.
“The new LMDh category allows us to fight for overall victories with a hybrid system at the Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring classics – without breaking the bank. The project is extremely attractive for Porsche. Endurance racing is part of our brand’s DNA,” explained Oliver Blume, CEO at Porsche AG.
The new LMDh category focuses on high cost-efficiency. The cars are based on an upgraded LMP2 chassis, and the spec for the hybrid system, including the control electronics, is standardized. Chassis’ from four different manufacturers are available. Each brand is free to select the concept for the combustion engine and the body design within the framework of the regulations.
“In the medium term, Porsche focuses on three different drive concepts: fully electric vehicles, efficient plug-in hybrids and emotional combustion engines,” said Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “We want to represent this trilogy in both the development of our cutting-edge road cars and in motorsport. We use the all-electric drive to contest the FIA Formula E as part of our works commitment, and the highly efficient and emotional combustion unit in GT racing. Now, the LMDh class closes the gap for us. There, powerful hybrid drives – like the ones that are mounted in many of our brand’s models – go up against each other. If the regulations eventually allowed the use of synthetic fuels, then that would be an even greater incentive for me in terms of sustainability.”
“I’d like to thank our board of directors for the immense confidence they have in the motorsport strategy we’ve developed,” says Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport. “We hold a record with our 19 outright wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and we’ve climbed to the top podium step many times at major races in the USA. We can continue this tradition with an LMDh vehicle while at the same time keeping costs reasonable. There has been huge interest from other manufacturers. I hope we can pick up where we left off with the famous clashes against many other marques in the 1980s and 90s. That would give the entire motor racing scene a huge boost.”