WEC/IMSA: Global quest for Porsche Penske Motorsport with the new 963

The Porsche Penske Motorsport team sends the new Porsche 963 to hunt for overall victories in the world’s greatest endurance races. From 2023, two of the hybrid LMDh-spec prototypes will be fielded in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The racing vehicle that was unveiled Friday at Goodwood in England flies the typical Porsche motor racing colors: white, red and black. In the cockpits of the 500 kW (680 PS) racers, experienced and championship winning prototype drivers are paired with seasoned specialists from Porsche’s works driver squad. Porsche Penske Motorsport prepares for these missions at two locations: The branch in Mannheim (Germany) is responsible for the FIA World Endurance Championship, with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship vehicles prepared in Mooresville, North Carolina, USA.

“After 7,889 test kilometers during the first half of 2022, we’re on a very good path but there is still work to be done before the start of next season,” outlines Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Motorsport. “Our new Porsche 963 should continue the legacy of legendary models such as the 917, 935, 956, 962 and the 919 Hybrid. I’m positive that we’ll be well-positioned when it comes to technology and we’ve also created the relevant team structures to set us up for wins in the thrilling competition between many manufacturers and different concepts.”

The official race debut of the Porsche 963 is planned to take place in January 2023 at the 24 Hours of Daytona in the USA. In the meantime, the FIA WEC has opened the door for testing as part of the upcoming world championship races this year. Porsche Penske Motorsport is aiming for a non-competitive dress rehearsal at the final round of the season in Bahrain this November.

Lotterer steps up to Sports Cars

Andre Lotterer will vacate his Porsche Formula E race seat at the end of this season after the announcement that he is joining the German manufacturer’s LMDh sportscar squad.

Lotterer’s LMP1 experience at Audi, where they worked together, and then Porsche made what he billed as a joint decision an obvious one.

Porsche has yet to reveal how the eight drivers announced so far will be divided up across the two arms of the Porsche Penske Motorsport factory squad in the WEC and IMSA.

It is likely that only the full-time WEC drivers will be at Le Mans next year; Porsche has suggested that it will be too early in the LMDh program to bring over the IMSA squad to create a four-car factory assault at the French enduro.

The announcement of Lotterer together with Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, Laurens Vanthoor, Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday means there are still two vacancies in the four factory 963s next season.

That means a total of eight drivers have been confirmed for the program, after Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron were announced late last year.

Six drivers are needed for WEC and four for IMSA for a total of 10.